How to Start Your Own Women Led Business: Inspirational Guide 2021
Recently, a new feature has been introduced to the Google Maps platform which will indicate local ventures owned, led, or financed by women. This will enable the customers to patronize the ventures identified as having the attribute of being led by women on Google Maps.
The feature will be available in all the countries across the world where Google My Business operates. Businesses can add the feature from the Google My Business dashboard which can be added or removed as per the convenience of the owners.
Google aims to provide female entrepreneurs access to the right tools and digital training as a part of its Women will initiative. The goal is to close the gender gap by creating equal economic opportunities for women to earn for themselves as they have been socially, culturally, and economically marginalized throughout history. The initiative complies with International Women’s Day.
It is Google’s way to acknowledge the struggles of millions of women who have unheard tales to share. These efforts can be viewed as a gift to Women led business by Google as it will help them create an impact.
What Is Meant by Successful Women Led Business?
According to the Collins dictionary, the term business-woman applies to a woman who is ”engaged in a commercial or industrial business, especially as its owner or executive”. Success on the other hand is illustrated as per Oxford dictionary, “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose”.
As far as theory is concerned, the definitions might be true but the ground reality is much different. ‘Success’ obtained by a ‘Woman’ as a part of a widely male-dominated society and workforce has its bleak resonance.
A woman in the workforce is required to defy the stereotypical notions regarding her existence and break the discriminatory constraints before she can meet a socially acceptable definition of success. In light of this fact, the meaning of accomplishment for a woman in business is substantially reduced from being in a leadership position or closing a deal to merely being given the freedom to exercise her own will and to receive an equal opportunity to prosper as her male counterparts.
Some Notable Examples Of Women Led Businesses Who Are Big On Creating A Difference
Jessica Alba is the co-founder of the Honest Company. Jessica was infuriated at the hidden, harmful ingredients marketers put into their products. Alba’s motivation came from starting her own family, when she tested a baby detergent, she got a skin rash which inspired her to take the matter into her own hands and came up with an eco-friendly solution to the problem.
She found The Honest company in collaboration with Brian Lee. The brand initially began as an online shopping site but eventually, the company expanded and its products started to get stocked at big stores like Costco Whole Foods. Keeping its dedication sustainability maintained, Alba takes care of more than 500 employees.
Sheryl Sandberg is Silicon Valley’s most celebrated and powerful woman and for all the rightful reasons. A Harvard graduate, a former Google vice president, founder of the LeanIn.org- a non-profit organization dedicated to gender equality and women empowerment and as if all this wasn’t enough, Sheryl is currently the chief operating officer at Facebook and works in tandem with Zuckerberg to lead the world’s most renowned social media website. In 2014, Sheryl signed The Giving Pledge with her husband, Dave Goldberg. Dave, unfortunately, died the next year, in 2015. However, Sheryl continues to donate from her 2 billion fortune to various charities.
Mary Barra is the first woman to rise to the CEO level at any major global automaker company. She has spent her entire career keeping the 100-plus-year history and performance of the mechanical goliath General Motors alive. In her efforts to protect General Motors from the ever-increasing innovations that disrupt the market, she has presided over several other projects and investments such as in the ride-sharing facilities such as Lyft, Maven-a tool for software and project management, acquisition of a self-driving car initiative called Cruise Automotive and other future-based solutions for mobility.
Debbie Sterling – as a student of mechanical engineering at Stanford, Debbie was concerned by the lack of women in her program. Even after graduating, Sterling was still bothered by the lack of female engineers in the marketing domain. So, she finally decided to dig deeper into the problem. She quit her job and dedicated a year to learn the cause behind the gender gap that she had so keenly observed in STEM-related fields. She researched the female brain and held meetings with neuroscientists to gain an understanding of the problem.
Sterling’s exploration disclosed to her that young girls have innate verbal abilities and are open to story tales. So, she came up with GoldieBlox, a toy company that would pair a construction kit with a book starring an inventor, Goldie who loves to build. The aim was to instill an early interest in engineering in young girls and to demolish the stereotypical notions that hard sciences are meant for only men.
GoldieBlox was so widely accepted by the American population that its initial Kickstarter campaign brought up almost $1 million in pre-orders in the first month. Until this point, GoldieBlox has sold its narrative-based toys to more than 6,000 retailers worldwide and delivered more than 100 web recordings.
Challenges Women Led Companies Have to Face
Women led business to encounter a wide array of social and economic problems. The type of restrictions and barriers women in the business face can range widely from lack of guidance to parental and familial restrictions to hesitancy in providing financial assistance to unmarried women by Banks and Financial Institutions due to the lack of certainty as to who will make the repayment.
Moreover, to move up a male-dominated hierarchy, women must first shatter the metaphorical glass ceiling and the glass cliff as unfortunately, they still are the biggest concern for most women in business today. Other Challenges for women in business have been enlisted below:
Every startup requires funding but this is an especially challenging task for women entrepreneurs. According to Inc., only 2.7 percent of the entire venture funding gets allocated to female CEOs.
- Underrepresentation in Certain Fields and Industries
Even though many industries now share a common vision to grow and diversify their workforce by hiring more female employees, certain sectors like information technology, finance, and engineering are still strongly male-dominated.
This is backed by the stereotypical notion which labels interest in the STEM subjects as ‘unfeminine’ and sticks up for the idea that occupations which require fieldwork are ill-suited for women. These notions profoundly widen the gender gap and demotivate women from embracing a career in a highly profitable, fast-growing field.
- Discrimination and Gender Bias
While most executives respect the principles of the merit system and remain fair in their hiring and promotions, yet, an unconscious bias is still observed to prevail as many women have shared their stories of finding more success in their careers by forging their identities as male on their CV.
Women themselves sometimes have to decline a leadership position as they fear exposing themselves to the unbearable scrutiny for others. Some women also feel that taking a leadership position damages the idealized version of womanhood as envisioned by some societies.
Unlike men who are encouraged from a young age to be ambitious, domineering, and assertive, the feminine temperament has been socially and artificially constructed to be polite and submissive. This implies that even though a woman may have the same talent and ambitions as a man, she is much more likely to be discouraged from taking the initiative due to the prevalent gender bias in the workplace and society.
Google has got you covered with all the essential tutorials and tools you need to know to start your own business. All you need to do is visit this page by Grow with Google.
- Wage Violation and Salary Negotiation
The feminine temperament as argued earlier is the one that would itself be reluctant to ask for higher pay. This is another major factor that significantly contributes to the gender pay gap. Women are less likely to negotiate on their initial payment or ask for a raise. Yet, if they do, the outcome is much less favorable. This often leads to women working and settling for meager wages. Men on the other hand are bold when it comes to salary negotiation.
It’s an accepted truth that most women, including the most successful ones, uniquely suffer from imposter syndrome and are more than likely to underestimate their worth. Women must realize this fact and believe in themselves and demand a salary that truly matches their skill level to close the wage gap.
- Not Being Taken Seriously
Another challenge women entrepreneurs encounter is that at some point during their entrepreneurship journey, they feel like they’re not being taken as seriously as their male counterparts. Regardless of the type of venture you run, when you’re sitting in a room full of men, you will feel like you got your position by some dumb luck or nepotism rather than with actual skill and competence.
Therefore, you mustn’t let yourself be affected by the negative perceptions of others. Own your success and wear it like a badge of honor. Talk about your accomplishments in the first-person pronoun so that those who cannot hear it in the room can become accustomed to them. Prepare any questions related to you or your field of expertise in advance so that everyone can see you as the expert you are.
How to Empower Women to Start Their Own Business?
- Start a business you’re genuinely enthusiastic about. By doing what you love, you’ll be motivated to learn, develop and stay at the cutting edge of your field.
- Identify the areas you need to improve and then actively dedicate yourself to that task to increase your productivity, proficiency, and confidence levels. Seek information and resources that will equip you with all the right knowledge to succeed.
- Surround yourself with positive people to keep your morale and motivation levels always high. While constructive criticism is appreciable-negativity, skepticism and sarcasm can rob you of your self-confidence so try to minimize your exposure to people who you think can affect you in a bad way.
- Reach out for inspiration by surrounding yourself with people who exude confidence and carry an empowered mindset. If possible, seek a mentor. Ask them how they attained that level of confidence. Usually, people who are secure in themselves are happy and open to share their experiences with others. They can impart their knowledge to you, help you discover assets, master new abilities, comprehend the business scene, make contacts and help you realize that regardless of what may come, you can confront it.
- Start your day by devoting a few minutes to consciously evaluate all the things you are grateful for. This is essential to keep a healthy, balanced mindset and it will equip you with all the strength you will need to face the challenges of the day.
- Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Acknowledge your setbacks, take them as valuable lessons and then continue to march forwards without dwelling on them.
- Learn to say ‘No’. Maintain your barriers and don’t be afraid to disagree when you have to. You don’t have to stretch yourself for anyone’s sake.
Take The Leap with The Marketalist
If you need to get your hands on all the essential tools to start your own business then look no further. We at Marketalist are keen on promoting SMBs or startups owned by women especially. We believe in gender equality and woman empowerment. So, wait for no further and get on board to start your dream project with Team Marketalist.