While women are still underrepresented in certain sectors of the workforce, entrepreneurship being one of them, the number of women in these roles is steadily increasing. The entrepreneurship rates amongst women has increased on a larger scale than it has for men, with the rates for women increasing by 13 percent and the rates for men increasing by only 5 percent. This is excellent news for women and men alike. McKinsey & Co. has stated that increased gender equality would boost the GDP by $28 trillion come 2025.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that breaking into entrepreneurship roles for women is necessarily easy. The business world is still dominated by men, and therefore, there is a shortage of female role models for women who are attempting to break into this sphere. As a result, it is more difficult for women to stay empowered in the face of this looming disparity.
Kavita Sahai, the CEO and founder of Have BIG Plans, is trying to change this landscape. Her business connects beginning entrepreneurs with certified coaches and potential mentors. She understands that having this connection can be vital towards encouraging women to strive for the success they are seeking.
The following is a list of tips that she has given to female entrepreneurs that will help them to remain empowered despite the difficulties that they may face in their endeavors.
Tips for Staying Empowered as a Female Entrepreneur
1. Don’t be afraid of failure. If you never do anything in which you might fail, than you likely will not succeed. Staying comfortable can translate to staying stuck, which is not good news for budding entrepreneurs. Women often let failures hurt their confidence more than their male counterparts do. Take failure as a learning opportunity.
2. Maintain your confidence. Every journey to success is different and, usually, every journey to success is a little bit uneven at best. It is not all one smooth upward trajectory, but you must be confident in your ability to meet your goals despite setbacks. Knowing that the world needs you, and your ideas, is a powerful way to keep yourself motivated and certain.
3. Always keep learning. Read, take classes, listen to podcasts, listen to others… the list of ways to continue building your knowledge base is extensive, and you should use these options to your advantage. This will continuously make you more innovative, which will in turn boost your success and confidence.
Here is a list of 9 books which entrepreneurs should read that will allow you to learn more.
4. Make your expertise known. If you are very knowledgeable and skilled in a certain area, people will value this. Make your specific skill set visible by starting a blog or even your own podcast. You can also act as a public speaker. No matter your path, you are seeking visibility and recognition for your specific set of skills.
5. Network. Nobody can achieve success alone. If you want to build your business to its fullest, you need to work to build new connections and to leverage any existing ones. You should consider networking part of your job. While you should use networking for your benefit, you should also use it to help others. This is a great way to create a powerful network of female entrepreneurs who can rely on each other.
6. Don’t be afraid to ask for anything that you might need. Don’t be afraid to ask people in your network for anything from advice, to more tangible requests such as where to secure funding. There is a wealth of resources available to you, whether through online or real life networks. You might be surprised as to who knows someone that could help you, or what specific knowledge somebody carries. Make your needs known, and they will likely be met.
7. Keep positive people in your life. Make sure that the people you interact with have a positive impact on your life and work. If you fill your life with negativity, then you are going to feel the repercussions of this in your business. If the people surrounding you discourage your vision and goals, then you will internalize this and do the same. You need people who propel you forward, not people who hold you back.
More female entrepreneurs translates into stronger companies and communities. Often though, due to societal norms and an unequal history, women underestimate themselves. Women must learn from one another and work with each other. Maintaining a sense of empowerment and reaching out to the female leaders currently in the business world is the best way to keep moving forward. Staying empowered is crucial for your success and for the success of the female entrepreneurs who may come after you. When women are in important entrepreneurial roles, we will see an improved, more equitable workplace and world.
At SC&C we offer Career Analysis to help senior decision-makers from all walks of life identify strategies and tactics to increase their value-add employment potential.