Ever since the Spice Girls started singing about girl power, we’ve been raised to believe that females can achieve whatever they want to. The innate qualities that having X chromosomes seem to bring lend themselves to a whole host of things- not least running a successful business. Yet despite high profile role models like Tamara Mellon, Sophia Amoruso and Sharmadean Reid, the statistics still show that women lag far behind men when it comes to entrepreneurship. Only one in four companies in the US is currently female-led. That is slowly changing, and there are certainly some brilliant startups out there helmed by the fairer sex – so what is it that makes women so uniquely suited to striking out on their own?
Social and Emotional Intelligence
Traditionally, women have been conditioned by society to do the emotional admin – establishing relationships, remembering birthdays, caring for others. And in the digital economy, these key skills easily transfer into entrepreneurship. Modern business in the age of internet reviews and social media is entirely based on relationships and reputation – two things women tend to have a keen sense of. Building strong networks may have been encouraged and valued as a feminine skill since time began, but that now translates more than ever into tangible business results. Leveraging your connections and social capital depends upon making connections and having great communication skills to develop a loyal customer base – something you may already be doing in your personal life.
Creating Better Working Environments
One of the greatest and most valuable assets a business has is it’s people, and attracting and retaining the right talent is a huge issue facing every business from multinational corporations to SMEs. As valuers of relationships, female-centric workplaces tend to look more holistically at the question of work-life balance and reducing stress by offering more family-friendly benefits such as job share positions, paid parental leave and flexible working policies. These tend to have the effect of boosting worker morale and promoting trust and loyalty between employer and employee, leading to less stress, sickness and turnover – which in turn means higher profits and productivity.
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Making Good Financial Decisions
There seems to be a pattern as to why firms who appoint a female CEO often do so in the wake of a crisis. On the whole, women prefer lower risk opportunities, which is linked to lower levels of testosterone. This lack of propensity to rash decisions particularly appeals to lenders who want reassurance that their capital is in safe hands – making female-run companies a safer bet to access small business loan interest rates.
Inclined To Collaborate
With an innate capacity to form relationships in their favour, women often find it easier to form partnerships and collaborations without getting so tripped up by ego. Often, this is where true innovation occurs, which can drive a business forward and set it apart from its competitors. Creating something new is vital to create new sales, and is the lifeblood of any successful company, so is a highly prized quality for any company.