All too often we, as women, have heard the myths and destructive messages of not being good enough to be business owners or not smart enough to manage our money. Meet Andrea Simon, the anthropologist, entrepreneur, and author of Rethink: Smashing the Myths of Women in Business, who is challenging the way women think about business and money.
“It is time for everyone to rethink what women can do and how we should enable them to do it. Our society needs it more than ever as we recover from this pandemic and restore the vitality of our economy and our cultures,” Andrea says.
For many women, the pandemic has enabled them to ask themselves some simple questions, as if the crisis opened them up to what they could be. Many are setting out to start their own businesses or do something completely different away from the office.
Given the fact that high unemployment and the power of the internet are fueling an eruption of startups not seen in decades, this has presented many opportunities to challenge the myths of not being “good enough” to be entrepreneurs.
Tired of the corporate restrictions, lack of flexibility that the cubicle life has presented, and feeling burnt out, women are making the move to entrepreneurship in large numbers.
This should alert the companies that have employed women and they can use this as an opportunity to learn from the pandemic and the move to entrepreneurship.
The myths you need to blow up to set yourself up as a successful entrepreneur:
1. Women are not good in business
When Fortune 500 companies had at least three female directors, several key factors increased: The return on invested capital jumped over 66%, return on sales went up 42%, and return on equity increased by 53%. More diversity on a team and more women in senior business roles leads to more creative teams and better business.
2. Women are not good leaders
Women are excellent leaders. We can lead by example, make tough decisions yet empathize with individuals who are negatively impacted by those tougher decisions. Women make up some of the best business leaders. Women can lead with empathy while still getting the job done. Tasks don’t need to be completed between the required hours of 9-5, and women are aware of this. So while we raise children and balance work obligations, we also see that some of the best work people produce can easily be outside the traditional hours of business.
3. Women are no good with money
Women know money and are good with money, however more than one-third of the gender gap in financial literacy can be attributed to confidence, instead of a true gap in knowledge. Women are smart about money and tend to be more conservative investors and less likely to take financial risks, but they are knowledgeable.
The bottom line is to truly succeed at business and be the best entrepreneur or business owner that you can be, you need to smash these myths. Women are smart and capable, and we’re smashing more glass ceilings than ever before. Follow your instincts and your dreams, and don’t let the voices of the past hold you back. Diversity is where it’s at now. Inclusion is essential.