This International Women’s Day, we explore the changing landscape of modern entrepreneurship, and what it means for women.
We talk a lot about how the landscape of business is evolving – particularly in a post-pandemic era.
Technology is advancing faster than ever before, companies are scaling and streamlining, skillsets and capabilities are expanding; and the way we conduct business finance is increasingly digitally-driven.
In short: our global connectivity is cemented, and for businesses and professionals alike, this presents an age of incredible opportunity. But are those opportunities truly open to everyone?
In the UK there are now an estimated 140,000 businesses founded by women, meaning over 20% of new firms are now female-led. This is according to the Alison Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship. While this is an increase from the original review published in 2019, flip the statistic on its head and we gain a much better picture of how male-dominated entrepreneurship really is.
This International Women’s Day, we explore the shifting tides of female entrepreneurship, the biggest challenges and opportunities women innovators face, and how we could be heading for meaningful change – for good.
If this is a good news, bad news situation, let’s start with the latter.
It’s hardly a secret that female professionals have faced their fair share of challenges across the course of history, overcoming incredible barriers to achieve world-altering achievements. For the progress made over the centuries, decades, and in recent years, women still face challenges uniquely experienced because of gender.
Now for the good news part.
The positive impact of female entrepreneurship cannot be understated. Wider social growth enabled and facilitated by women in leadership positions has a significant ripple effect. It reinforces the power of greater equality in business, and has vast capabilities for the future of the UK and around the world.
Today, there’s a wealth of growth in female entrepreneurship and women leaders, and seeing an upwards trajectory is extremely motivating. FTSE 350 companies have recently reached their target of 40% women in boardrooms. Great news, but not enough to take our foot off the pedal.
The phrase “’any progress is still progress” isn’t as accurate as we might like it to be here. The gender pay gap is still broad, there continues to be merely a handful of UK CEOs that are women, and the issues facing women leaders reach far beyond office doors.
To achieve true equality and see the positive results ripple across our economy and society, we have to work together to speed up the process. Present great opportunities for women, eradicate stereotypes, and actively combat negative perceptions every day.
This International Women’s Day, one thing remains true - acknowledging the challenging road ahead to gender equality doesn’t mean not celebrating how far we’ve come.
Happy International Women’s Day!