Currently, there has been a rise in the number of “womentrepreneurs” as compared to the traditional times. Female entrepreneurship took 20 years long run in order to leap from 26% of business ownership in 1997 to 40% business ownership in 2019.
We are entering into a whole new decade and yet there are around 55 GDI companies who have never had women on their boards. However, this total was only the result of the information provided by large organizations. The smaller companies are less tending to add women to the boards. Women remain to not have a seat at the table and a significant voice in the boardroom.
Although female entrepreneurship and the formation of female-owned business networks is steadily rising, there are numerous challenges and obstacles that female entrepreneurs face. One major challenge that they face is traditional gender-roles that are basically internalized by society. The data depicts that men outnumber women in terms of the most prestigious positions at firms. Other than dealing with the dominant stereotype, female entrepreneurs are facing several obstacles related to their business investments too.
Constant Uphill Battle with No End in Sight
Female entrepreneurs have to face stereotypical attitudes on a daily basis. In this business scenario, the customers to suppliers or even the banks can be the constant reminders for the entrepreneur that she is different. Rarely this reminder is in a positive way, in the form of praising her for being a successful entrepreneur (being a woman). These gender stereotypes affect the workforce attitude too, because the employees tend to have mixed expectations towards a female entrepreneur.
The statistics explain that women face higher requirements while submitting a proposal for venture capital financing. To explain this more clearly, in a study it was proven that financial evaluators see women without any technical background as less capable than males who similarly have no technical background. Women only had an advantage over the male counterparts when they had a technical background, and were evaluated as more sociable with better leadership skills. This draws us to the conclusion that a woman has to have a higher qualification than male entrepreneurs, and also require both technical backgrounds with a higher social capital i.e. strong social ties in the industry, only then will she be recognized as a legitimate entrepreneur. Thus, this makes it quite clear that for investors to trust her entrepreneurial abilities, they need to see a higher potential in her as compared to her male colleagues, likely due to gender stereotypes.
Not Just the Boardroom but Also the Workforce is affected
Where women are still struggling hard to attain a place on the boards, the workforce ratio is also equally affected. For instance, tech companies are highly prey to this workforce diversity. It was observed that several tech companies employed very few women. In 2014, tech giants like Google, Facebook, Twitter comprised about 70% of men in the workforce. The percentage of women’s participation, however, was raised to about 31.6% in 2019, which accounts for only 1.6% rise in the five years.
The current scenario demands to employ a diversified workforce. The gender-diverse workforce is vital for the improvement of productivity. Creating a balance between genders might be the real driver of superior performance that mostly all business leaders are yearning. A study suggests that gender balance among the leaders correlates to higher stocks and greater profitability. The mixed-gender boards outperformed the all-male boards, which also settle the debate of why the results of hedge funds supervised by women overtake hedge funds headed by men.
Demand for Womentrepreneurs Is Greater Than the Supply
The social capital of an entrepreneur can be defined by the networks they have access to, and the private equity funding they receive is heavily influenced by the entrepreneur’s social capital and also if it overlaps with that of venture capitalists. Women seem to be disadvantaged when in search of private equity funding. The research on gender discrimination in venture capital funding states that the demand of skilled women entrepreneurs is higher than the supply. Contrary to conventional wisdom, there were women who were not financed through growth capital, despite having the necessary skills to build a high-growth business.
However, women entrepreneurs are launching ambitious businesses in the high-tech industry in order to expand their social networks. Despite of many challenges in the industry, they are still making their pitches more relatable to the male-dominant VC industry. Regardless of the conservative norms, women have been creating good social networks. Women have their networks a lot different from that of their male equivalents and are not coinciding as much with financial networks.
Feminist Entrepreneurs Entering Commercial Markets
Hearing the word “feminist” raises quite some voices among the people. While some support ‘feminism’ there are many who get offended by the term. Despite the entire backlash, feminists have made their debut in entrepreneurship. A feminist entrepreneur is an individual who smears feminist values and approaches entrepreneurship with the aim of improving the quality of life and also the well-being of girls and women. The leaders are creating many ‘for women, by women’ enterprises, which is an amazing initiative to promote women in leadership. These leaders are entering the commercial market with the focus to create wealth and social change, based on the ethics of cooperation, equality, and mutual respect.
Supporting the women-helping-women agenda, many successful female business owners or Angel investors have started backing the ‘for women, by women’ enterprises by investing in it. Whether the idea is big, small, completely ironed out, or still under consideration, these investors help to set up the business from the ground up. As Hillary Clinton said, “Investing in women is not only the right thing to do, but also the smart thing to do.”
To conclude, entrepreneurship is declared to be a male-dominated field, and it might be tough to surpass the orthodox views. The leadership gender gap is obstinate and ubiquitous but resolvable. People blame the social customs, caste restrictions, culture restraints, and other norms the reason for women lagging behind men. Cleopatra or Queen Elizabeth make it quite clear that women are not new to leadership. Apart from these two, many other women who led the civil rights or started education reform movements count as transformational leaders too. Nevertheless, female entrepreneurs have evidently more to acquire in comparison to their male counterparts and are striving to break the constraints of the conventional norms.
Whether machine learning is working or not?
One of the most important questions that we should always ask when evaluating or implementing new technology is that it is worth it or how we know it works? If machine learning is working, then the results will be shown in business. Furthermore, measuring ROI (return on investment) is a core concern for many marketers, especially when it comes to new technology. There will be an upsurge in the patrons. Therefore, with help from the expert systems like ML, the seller can identify customers faster and more accurately and generates leads easily.
Through enough data, it may even predict the type of offer most likely to re-engage the customer. The businesses will see higher revenues from upselling. ML can present customized and relevant upselling opportunities with higher response rates by leveraging data correlation, reviews, product popularity, customer behavior features, etc. Similarly, using intelligent chatbots businesses can enhance the customer experience and site searches to increase product discoverability. Hence, innovative technology provides us all with the opportunity to develop a more intimate and valuable relationship with customers and enables a richer, more engaging experience.
The present world of intelligent technologies and people have started begin to work together to take marketing initiatives to the next level. Marketing products or services will no longer be a tireless campaign to create, curate and share information of high value. Instead, digital marketers will be able to spread brand awareness in a way that’s more efficient and personal than ever. Therefore, people need to utilize the power of machine learning to improve their sales and their marketing team’s capabilities. This, as a result, can make a positive impact on their future marketing development and relationships with clients.