The business landscape is transforming. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the ‘traditional’ ways of doing business. Now we can see women are playing a crucial role in shaping this future of business. In this article we will see the history that has created the current landscape, and what we can contemplate seeing in the future.
Generally, people are not familiar with the fact that the history of female entrepreneurship reaches far back into the past. The first well-documented businesswomen can be seen back as far as 1870 BC to the city of Assur in northern Iraq. Assyrian women at the time contributed to vast trading networks that flourished in the region and showed that business was not only meant for men. There are many more recent examples of women in business too. Throughout the 18th Century, businesswomen traded in the major cities of the world, and there are many examples of successful female entrepreneurs owning and running their own businesses.
As time passed, slowed the rising number of businesswomen was. According to data only 1 in 3 UK entrepreneurs is female. This gender gap is equivalent to 1.1 million missing businesses and the gender gap among full-time employees in the UK fell to 7.4%, from 9.0% in 2019. And this is because women face various challenges in business-like.
- A lack of funding for female entrepreneurs
- Underrepresentation in senior roles
- A confidence gap
Women are shaping the future of business
Although there are multiple challenges women faces in business, there are plenty of positives to focus on too. We can also find tons of examples of businesswomen and entrepreneurs who are enacting significant changes, supercharging their careers, and putting their efforts to shape the future of business. Here are just some of the ways in which women are transforming the business world for generations to come
Bringing new innovation
As women achieve more power and influence in the world of business, they come forward with new ideas and innovations. Across a wide range of industries, greater gender equality helps to develop new products, services, and businesses. It not only benefits the organizations, but it is also good for consumers, giving them more choices that are more relevant to them. It can also be observed that companies are more profitable when women make up more than one in three executive roles.
Adding a new approach to leadership
Although the representation of women in leadership roles is still a debate, the number has improved in recent years. Furthermore, women in these positions come up with a unique set of skills and competencies that can help to enact change. Also, hard skills are needed for c-suite and executive roles, it is the soft skills that can bring some change. A study suggests that women score higher than men on nearly all emotional intelligence competencies. These include qualities such as conflict management, adaptability, and teamwork, which are all essential for workplace leadership.
Helping with diversity and inclusion
Inclusion and diversity are still some of the big problems in the world of business. However, as more women introduce themselves into the corporate world and progress through it, more representation there is. As a result, the more role models and inspirational women in business there are, the more appealing the industry becomes to others. With mentorships and coaching, women are helping other women find routes into the corporate world of business, helping to create more inclusive working environments for everyone.
Changing social norms
Studies have found that some of the major factors behind the gender gap are harmful social norms and stereotypes about women and men. As more women come forward and succeed in businesses and more female entrepreneurs create change, these social norms will shift. Women in business today are breaking down harmful stereotypes and challenging the status quo. And there are many online resources available through which women can easily introduce themselves in the business.