Taking Control

taking-control

In the past years, the topic of women in the workforce has been widely discussed in the media. Unfortunately, the focus has mainly been of negative nature, as it shed the light on defeating reality of how much more progress we need to make, as a society, towards gender parity in the business world. The glass ceiling is almost unscratched, the salary gap is standing strong and the discrimination is still very present, even though not acknowledged.

Countless articles have been written and multiple studies conducted which prove that companies with more women on their boards are more successful and profitable. Moreover, the correlation between the percentage of women and the percentage increase in the net revenue margin is nowhere near negligible. On the upside, the investment sector has taken notice and the venture capital firm, First Round, states that investment in female founded companies performed 63% better than all-men founder teams.

startup-female-founderWhile the corporate world is slowly progressing towards acknowledging the benefits of higher female presence in companies, women have taken the things into their own hands. The startup world has become the most promising place for females, as more women are founding startups than ever. From 2009 to 2014, the percentage of funded startups with at least one female founder has increased from just 9% to over 18%.

The dynamic, ever-changing environment of the startups give the possibility to women to prosper with their enterprises, as it allows them to set up their own rules, develop inspiring cultures and create innovative management structures.  Liberated from the confining corporate ladder, female entrepreneurs face fewer limitations to their success.

While one of the limitations they do encounter is limited funding, women actually need half as much as men to start a business, according to the report by researchers at Babson College and Baruch College. The average amount of money required for the project to get underway was $10,000. One of the reasons their expenses are lower is because women tend to engage in consumer-oriented business, which allow for smaller budgets. However, it should be taken into account that women who wish to enter industries which require bigger costs, as the tech industry, more often than not, do not even get a chance to develop a startup. Venture capitalist are very comfortable funding females for “girly stuff”, but when they are presented with hard-core, proprietary technologies, the tone of the conversation changes. Of the more than 200 Bay Area startups which received series A funding last year, a financing round of between $3 million and $15 million, a mere 8% were led by women, a decline of nearly 30% from the previous year.

In spite of needing less to start up, while facing limited funding, women are perfectly able to dominate the industry within they operate. Many successful female entrepreneurs are inspiring women to take control and run their own businesses. They can be found in all industries, from healthcare, real estate and technology, over media and entertainment to fashion and beauty.