So today is International Women’s’ Day. A day that celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women all over the world. It was established back in the early 1900’s and obviously a lot has changed since then; for everyone but for women especially.
One of the themes of International Women’s Day is to highlight the inequality in the workplace between men and women, and whilst it’s probably safe to say that this has improved somewhat since the early 1900’s it could still be better. At the end of last year the Guardian reported that it would take 170 years to close the gender pay gap between men and women! Thats a long time! As a female reading that article it doesn’t make for particularly cheery reading.
But all is not lost. As with any aspect of life, regardless of gender, I truly believe it’s up to you as an individual to take responsibility for your own circumstances. This is never more important than when it comes to income and the type of lifestyle you choose to have. If you’re not being paid what you think you’re worth, then do something about it.
It has never been easier to accomplish this, especially for women. And statistics back this up. The numbers of female entrepreneurs is on the rise, and has been for some time. In the UK between 2008 and 2011 women accounted for an unprecedented 80% of the new self-employed. In the US Women own 36% of all businesses, according to the 2012 U.S. Census ‒ a jump of 30% over 2007.
Not only that but we’re good at it;
“Women business enterprises are agile, innovative problem-solvers, meeting corporation’s’ needs quickly, adapting to marketplace changes and providing deep value and cost-effectiveness,”
according to Pamela Prince Eason, president and CEO of Women’s Business Enterprise National Council.
“Female entrepreneurs are more adept than their male counterparts at seeing gaps in the market and seizing the opportunity“
according to The 2015 Kauffman Index
“female entrepreneurs start companies with 50% less capital than their male counterparts”
according to the National Women’s Business Council
This isn’t a post about bashing blokes over the head and getting all ‘girl power’ on them. I just mention these points to highlight that being a female entrepreneur is more possible than ever. Entrepreneurship has traditionally been a male dominated environment, but that is changing. I don’t know the statistics but it makes sense that if female entrepreneurs are on the rise, that must affect the balance of the pay gap somewhere.
This is something that is accessible to any women. Don’t rely on society or your government or your employer to close that pay gap, just get on and do it yourself, have you even got 170 years to wait? I think not!
That’s not say it will be easy, being an entrepreneur (of any gender) is challenging, hard work and takes a serious commitment. The point is we are all in charge of own lives and we all have to take personal responsibility for living a life that we are happy with. The harder we work and the more effort we put, the greater our results will be.
Enjoy reading about all of the inspiring stories of great female achievement that are available on the internet today, but most of think about your own goals and achievements and what you can do if you put your mind to it, regardless of what gender you are.
Bye for now