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Breaking the Glass Ceiling: Where Are the Women Entrepreneurs?

Contributor ,


T
he world is full of stereotypes, presumed or otherwise. Among the most popular ones are those, which depict man as the “hunter/provider” and woman as the“nurturer/homemaker”.

While it has taken a long time, and we are not completely there yet, women by the thousands march out of their homes very day, to go about doing many jobs and the men no longer have a monopoly! Yet, when it comes to big business and corporate management at the higher levels, it is often that the men walk away with the big titles and the big bucks. A Bill Gates or a Warren Buffet comes easily to mind when you think of business magnates and entrepreneurs, but I bet you would be hard pressed to think of any woman entrepreneur or business leader along similar lines as a Bill or a Warren! Remember, the electorate preferred a Barack Obama rather than a Hilary Clinton, to be the First Citizen of America!

What is ironic is that, despite the lack of a significant presence in the upper echelons of business and corporate management, women are considered to be doing a better job at managerial or other important roles, than their male counterparts! What makes women the better entrepreneur or manager? The qualities which have been traditionally seen as women’s ‘weaknesses’ in handling matters outside of the home, are actually the ones which are helping the millions of women who’ve taken up the challenge of going out and joining the workforce, just as their men have been doing for centuries! Amazing, isn’t it?

What are the special qualities that successful woman entrepreneurs or managers have, which other aspiring women can emulate? Here’s a brief listing of the management styles and strengths, which help in making a successful woman entrepreneur or manager:

* More empathetic and comfortable with motivating co workers by persuasion rather than domination.

* Greater emotional strength in coping with adverse situations and a “can do” ethos.

* The ability to look for creative and unconventional solutions or approaches to work issues or conundrums.

* A leadership style which is based on the inclusion and sharing with co workers and juniors, i.e. “running with the pack” rather than ahead of it.

* Looking at all aspects of a problem, not just the obvious ones, not afraid to make mistakes, but have the capacity to learn from it and move on.

* Emphasizing the ‘human’ aspect of working relationships, women managers are more prone to building stronger and productive teams, because they are more prone to building social and personal relationships with co workers, yet still maintaining a professional attitude.

In spite of all this, what still keeps women away from the top management positions in America and even the rest of the world? Sadly, much as we proclaim ourselves to be enlightened, our perception of gender stereotypes is still stuck in the medieval ages! It is left to the women entrepreneurs and managers to keep pushing the envelope and break the glass ceiling and propel themselves into top management positions, and they are already doing this! Let’s stand up, cheer for them, and encourage them in their endeavors.


Tiffany Provost


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