While we haven’t closed the gender pay gap (yet), the push is on. Female entrepreneurs and leaders of everything from local start-ups to corporations are sharing their stories and creating more opportunity.
While it’s important to make the case for better recognition and more opportunity for women in your own workplace, sometimes the best way that you can advance in your career is to change your environment. The global market presents endless opportunities whether you specialise in finance, tech, retail or artisanal work, and accessing a different pool of partners and needs can open doors.
Here are five qualities that set female entrepreneurs apart that you can use to pitch the advantages of partnering with or employing a woman to a prospective employer or investor, or simply to assess your own capacity for entrepreneurship and leadership.
1. Fresh perspectives
We talk about the value of diverse workplaces for a reason. Your ideas and approaches are based on your lived experience. Women in the workplace bring a different perspective from men. Some of the most innovative new businesses are run by women who have been able to use their insight to see opportunities, fill unmet needs, and come up with uniquely better solutions. This fresh perspective can help global businesses better understand, connect to, and serve clients or customers.
2. Purpose and mission-driven
Leaders and entrepreneurs often struggle with focus. When there are so many demands on your time and attention, and so many great things that you could be doing, it’s hard to pick just one to focus on. Women in the workplace have a better track record of understanding and holding on to clear vision to achieve worthwhile results. At the same time, they’re more likely to be motivated by an underlying purpose, and often an altruistic one. Women entrepreneurs are better for local economies and more likely to create opportunities for others, making them highly needed in communities around the world.
3. Proactive problem-solving
It may be the natural extension of their ability to look at a situation from a different angle, or the clear focus, but female professionals have an excellent track record of proactive problem-solving. They’re more likely to see challenges and risks as they’re forming and come up with creative preventative solutions. And all that problem-solving is resulting in high innovation and valuable strategies, services and products that meet the needs of customers all over.
4. Superior financial management
Women are more likely to make smart business decisions, especially when it comes to their finances. They overextend less, plan more, make cautious but strategic investments, reinvest in their business and in others, share their success and take advantage of smart savings where available. Launching and growing an international business can be a huge challenge, but female entrepreneurs achieve lasting success by taking the slower, steadier route. They’ll get paperwork and compliance in place ahead of time, find the best rates on international money transfer services, and avoid relying too extensively on outside investment.
5. Stronger skills and knowledge
The silver lining to how much harder women have to work to achieve the same recognition, pay and success as men is that they come to leadership and entrepreneurial ventures with more resiliency, skills and knowledge than their male counterparts. They’re open to learning from others, make the most of connections, and apply deep knowledge to problems, relying less on bluster and confidence and more on actual competency.
Female entrepreneurs can take their place in the global marketplace – and, in fact, are more likely to succeed in their ventures than men. While different countries and cultures present unique challenges, women are better at empathising with others and are able to translate their improved understanding of client needs and regional constraints into business success.