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Women are becoming more entrepreneurial and own approximately 36% of all businesses. The amount of women-run businesses rose 30% since 2007 according to the 2012 U.S. Census. That’s not to suggest that all obstacles to women in business have been removed, however. In particular, access to capital continues to challenge women entrepreneurs. Although business remains male-dominated, the media inspires entrepreneurship by telling high-visibility success stories about women.
Below we’ve highlighted a few of the top trends that currently affect women in business:
A variety of organizations now exist to support the growth of women starting and growing businesses. They include: accelerators, boot camps and leadership training for women entrepreneurs; networking organizations that connect women entrepreneurs to investors, industry experts, fellow WBEs and corporate supplier diversity departments; as well as educational support groups and organizations that certify women-owned businesses.
Women leaders are increasingly making media headlines for their accomplishments. From Forbes to TechCrunch, stories of women in business not only inspire women to achieve, but also prove popular among general readers.
The challenges women face in business are represented in the media as well. For instance, the lack of diversity among venture capitalists is a reoccurring topic that has brought the industry under a microscope. Media attention is one of the factors pressuring the industry to change.
The number of female venture capitalists (VCs) is growing, but women in the industry are still greatly outnumbered by men. This is likely one on the main reasons why less than three percent of venture-capital-funded companies had female CEOs according to a 2014 Babson College report. Women VCs are more likely to see the value in a women-led enterprise. 17% of the top 20 Corporate VC firms had women on the investment team compared to 11% of Top 20 VC list, according to CB Insight’s 2014.
Successful women in business create their own leadership style without giving in to the notion that a stereotypical male attitude is needed. Instead of intentionally coming across as competitive or aggressive, female CEOs find unique voices to lead confidently.
Traditional gender expectations still greatly affect women in the workplace. While many entrepreneurs — regardless of gender — seek work-life balance, mothers in particular feel extra pressure when running their families and companies simultaneously.
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