Today, we celebrate them with International Women’s Day, a day where we can bring attention to issues such as gender equality, reproductive rights, and violence against women. This year for #IWD2023, we want to focus on the struggles of women in the workplace – entrepreneurs in particular.
Over the past few years, the entrepreneurial landscape has changed rapidly, and women are increasingly taking charge of their own destiny by getting in touch with their entrepreneurial selves.
Breaking Through Barriers: Success Stories
There are countless success stories of women entrepreneurs who have broken through the barriers and achieved incredible success in their industries.
For example, Whitney Wolfe Herd, the founder and CEO of Bumble, started her own dating app after experiencing harassment and discrimination at her previous job.
Today, Bumble is a billion-dollar company with over 100 million users.
Another inspiring example is Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx, who created a multi-million dollar shapewear company from scratch after being frustrated with the lack of comfortable undergarments for women.
Blakely is now a billionaire and a champion for women entrepreneurs, providing funding and resources to help other women start and grow their businesses.
And our own shining example of what it means to stay true to your goals and your mission, Sharon Daly, Managing Director of Mentor List Talent.
Sharon is the power and drive behind our purpose of helping return to work mums, women in tech and women in leadership to find their dream roles with progressive organisations that care more about creating positive impact than just “ticking a DE&I box”.
When asked about her most rewarding accomplishments of her career, Sharon had this to say:
“Making an impact on gender equality within organisations and not just talking about it, but actually seeing it unfold before my very eyes.
Sometimes it is not even about helping women in tech find their dream role, we are chatting with women in tech, leadership, sales and return to work mums everyday, sharing their stories.
They are the reason we will never give up and continue to shield and protect them from the “tick box” mentality of addressing gender equality. It is very evident it is still a HUGE problem, and it is infuriating to see people just brush it off like it’s been taken care of.”
Women like Whitney, Sara and Sharon are endlessly inspiring, but they are just the tip of the iceberg. Women entrepreneurs are breaking through barriers in every industry, from tech to finance to construction.
However, women still face unique challenges, including securing funding, overcoming gender stereotypes, and the all-too familiar juggle between work and family.
What Challenges Do We Face As Women Entrepreneurs?
Despite numerous success stories, women entrepreneurs face unique challenges that can make it harder for them to succeed.
Women entrepreneurs face gender stereotypes and bias that can make it harder for them to gain respect and credibility in their industries. This can be especially challenging for women working in male-dominated fields.
Some studies have shown that women entrepreneurs are less likely to receive funding than their male counterparts, and often have to work harder to prove their worth to investors.
Finally, women entrepreneurs often have to balance work and family responsibilities, which can be a challenge for anyone, but can be especially difficult for women who face societal expectations to be the primary caregivers for their families.
Resources Available to Women Entrepreneurs
Fortunately, there are many resources available to help women entrepreneurs overcome these challenges and achieve success. These include:
- Mentorship programs: Mentorship programs and organisations, like Mentor List, can provide invaluable guidance and support to women entrepreneurs, helping them navigate the challenges of starting and growing a business.
- Networking opportunities: Networking can help women entrepreneurs connect with other professionals in their industry, gain new insights, and identify potential collaborators and partners.
- Advocacy organisations: There are many organisations dedicated to advocating for women entrepreneurs and supporting their success, like our own Mentor List Talent, who advocates for women in tech, return to work mums and women in leadership across Australia and New Zealand.
Women entrepreneurs are breaking through barriers and achieving incredible success in every industry. However, they still face unique challenges that can make it harder for them to succeed.
By celebrating the successes of women entrepreneurs and providing resources to help them overcome these challenges, we can empower more women to start and grow their own businesses, creating a more diverse and inclusive entrepreneurial landscape for all.