Gender equality is a vision that every woman in business aspires to achieve, but it is easier said than done. Proving your worth and capability in a male-dominated business landscape is a challenge. But numerous female leaders and entrepreneurs have made it big with determination, resilience, and business skills. As they share their success stories and experiences, each one speaks of the challenges they faced along the way.
Beyond the challenges of a man’s world, women in business also struggle with some myths that impede their growth and push success out of reach. If you stop believing them, you can surely resolve half your challenges and make the way to the top easier. But women often fail to get over these misconceptions and make life harder for themselves. Let us debunk the myths you must steer clear of.
Myth #1-Women leaders aren’t confident enough to steer businesses
When it comes to breaking the glass ceiling and leading businesses from the helm, you can expect to face negativity. There are good chances you will come across people trying to prove that females lack confidence and leadership traits, but don’t give in to the misconception. Males and females aren’t different in the levels of ambition and confidence. Just clear your mind and step out with confidence every morning. You only have to believe yourself, and you will surely steer your business in the right direction.
Myth #2- Female entrepreneurs are bad at negotiating
If someone tries to convince you that you are a bad negotiator, show them the way out because it is only a misconception. Remember how you negotiated your salary in the first job, picked a raise every year, or even how you bargain for prices in the market. Women are born with this feminine trait, making them just as effective as men (or even better than them) with business deals and negotiations. You only have to understand your skills and harness them at the right place and time, and you will win the negotiation game.
Myth #3- Mom entrepreneurs often fail to meet their obligations
Another misconception that can keep you from achieving your goals is that mom entrepreneurs cannot fulfill their business obligations because they have a lot to handle. The truth is that it gets just the opposite when you have to juggle work with kids and home. You only manage everything better because you develop multitasking skills intrinsically. Mommies have better management skills as they aspire to do more with less and focus on quality rather than quality. You have good chances of overtaking your male counterparts if you are a mom in business.
Myth #4- Managing teams is harder for women
Once again, it is a misconception you shouldn’t believe at all. Female leaders are great at managing people, and the fact that there are more women HR managers is enough to prove it. They are open to utilizing the latest tools, technologies, and mindset to people management. You can debunk the misconception by showing your people management skills because it is easier for women to be empathic and connect with people. Consider using lean sigma to increase productivity of your employees and ensure that they add value to your business. Go the extra mile with engagement because it keeps people loyal and boosts retention, which are the key success factors of people management.
Myth #5- It is hard for a woman to be assertive
Men show assertiveness in their actions, but don’t think you cannot be as assertive as your male counterparts. Remember that you have to be assertive if you want to be heard, so there are no ways you can agree with this misconception. Showing assertiveness is easier than it sounds- you have to be confident about your decisions. Rather than asking questions, making declarative statements gets you on the right path. Show aggression at times, even if it means giving up on your feminine traits. Let competitors see you as a tenacious rival and subordinates visualize you as a strong leader, and you will definitely command more respect and credibility.
Myth #6- Compromise is a way of life for a woman in business
Thankfully, it isn’t. If you are strong enough not to give in, no one can force you to compromise at any point. You can run your business your way, break the glass ceiling, and achieve success just like any man does. Compromise is needed when a person is vulnerable, and there is no reason you should feel vulnerable. As long as you are determined and committed to the fulfillment of your vision, you can derive strength. Expect to face challenges, but have the courage to stay strong and stick to your values, and you will succeed without compromising.
Myth #7- You have to do it all alone to prove your point
The biggest misconception is that you have to do everything alone because you have to prove your point. You need not believe either- you need not do everything alone, and you don’t have to prove your point because men do neither. Ask for help at home, and your partner will be more than willing to pitch in. If your kids are old enough, they will also do their bit to help mommy. At work, build a team you can rely on and delegate work. Show your faith in people, and they will go the extra mile to contribute. Women have an advantage in this context because they have more sources of help, so use them to move ahead.
Women entrepreneurs who never believed these misconceptions have beaten all odds to emerge as real winners. You can win the game and surge ahead of men in business, provided that you have the right attitude and mindset. Believe in things that encourage and motivate and you will find the way to reach your goals without struggling a lot. There are several success stories to prove that women in business can make it to the top, but you must have the commitment to do it.