A New Era for Women in Business
Women have long been important members of the business community, but in times past, their participation was rather limited to certain niches. Today, however, there is a lot of promise and powerful opportunities for women in business. We can now comfortably own our own successful business within what used to be considered “male-dominated” industries such as construction, for instance. It is important for women to continue to take the risk of opening their own businesses. The more we see of this, the more common and acceptable it will remain.
Female-run businesses actually have the potential for a high level of productivity, as well as better interpersonal relations amongst office staff. As the number of female-owned and operated companies continues to rise, we can help other women see the benefits of business ownership, and show a multitude of concrete examples as to the positive benefits that women in business provide.
While it is still the case that many female-owned businesses are in the service sector, being considered more “traditional” fields that women have historically been found in such as food preparation, child services, real estate, retail, and other similar fields – this is rapidly changing.
There is an exciting change in the tide for women because we now have the opportunity to get involved in whatever field we choose, whether it is a traditional “women’s field” or a more non-traditional “male dominated” industry.
In addition, women are finally beginning to gain respect in the business place, and as more women start their own businesses and buck convention, the more role models we have for younger women, which will allow them to dream big, and do great things as well.
Women, due to socialization into a world that is still often defined by gender roles, can be at a disadvantage in management positions – or at least some claim. Some say that because girls are taught to be mediators or “peacemakers”, that some women do not have what it takes to take on an aggressive leadership role. This is not necessarily true, and the “peacemaker” mentality can also be an advantage for women in business. Women are known to be raised in an environment that causes them to be more cooperative and work better in groups. As adults, this usually manifests itself in better interpersonal relations in the workplace. Women can mediate conflicts and work together well with others in a team setting. This is certainly not a disadvantage, in fact, it sets them apart!
Just because women tend to be more mediating and group-oriented in their mindsets does not mean that they cannot provide leadership qualities and manage a team effectively. Women can be authoritative and while women’s communication styles do differ – men often tend to be more defensive and combative and women tend to be more open-minded and understanding. Women have proven that they can lead, and they tend to have great relationships amongst their employees and colleagues because their communication styles usually lead to more open and honest dialogue.
Many business owners, regardless of sex, develop their own management style over time and with experience. Since more women are successfully running and managing businesses, the argument that the way women were raised makes them poor managers no longer holds much water. With confidence and optimism, many women can succeed in the male-dominated business world, and even have more success than their male counterparts.
In conclusion, while there are still certain challenges facing women in business, the more who become success stories, the more examples young women will have to look up to, in regard to their futures. Women are proving hand over fist, that they can be successful, in almost any industry. Women may have different management styles and communication strategies that have their advantages and disadvantages – but the same could be true for some males – and women should no longer let old, outdated stereotypes keep them from reaching their dreams.