Thursday, 15 August 2013

Act Now or Lose Women to Entrepreneurship

Today the CIPD announced in their press release that business had to Use top female talent or lose it.

"it is clear that if business does not adopt flexible or innovative working practices, it will continue to lose impressive women who decide to set up their own businesses to achieve a better work-life balance"

The CIPD also said that if there were as many female entrepreneurs as men the GDP could be boosted by 10% by 2030.  

The report discovered women were 
1. motivated by purpose not just wealth 
2. they prefer self finance over risk and debt 
3. their approach is more personal 
4. They have more self awareness 

Businesses certainly need to create environments that suit woman.  We also need environments that suit families.  That means this has to stop being about gender and more about working families.  Men are also brilliant in business and want to be part of the home life.  They too want work life flexibility.  We need to understand the gender strengths and needs. 

So how does this add to the debate: 

1. We need to help women be confident as business people - we need to start that from primary school and increase awareness around the language we use to our children and the language teachers use to their pupils 
2. We need to be aware of our innate unconscious bias 
3. We need to understand our limited beliefs around women's ability to be top business women and our overtly assumed beliefs that men are great at business and leading.  This mental shift will increase out awareness of what 'good' and 'great' looks like. 
4. While we examine these ideas yes we can talk in gender but the ultimate goal should be equality for all 

So this is not just a piece about business - it's also about our own personal mindset and there is so much we as individuals can do to change that. More women (and men) need the confidence to become business people whether it as a staff member (intrapreneur) or with their own business (entrepreneur). 

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