In 2019, 252 mln women were engaged in business, and this number is constantly growing. This inspires millions of women to consider entrepreneurship, seek encouragement from the success of others, and discover new opportunities for personal growth and changing the world for the better. In some countries, a woman in a leadership position is still something new and unfamiliar, but even in the most closed-off countries, the doors are opening for strong female leaders. This is becoming possible thanks to the constant work and drive towards the future exhibited by women all over.
Women in IT As an Element of Diversity For Business
Female and male thinking is different, and this not a stereotype, but psychology confirmed by research. Emotions and empathy are some of the key elements of the female lifeview, while systematization and rationalization are an important part of the male worldview. Thanks to their strong suits, women always bring new and unorthodox ideas and views, business included. A management team of both men and women becomes more diverse and can offer more solutions and ideas. This increases the probability that one of such thoughts will “take off.” For today’s businesses living through the age of uncertainty, such increased chances are very important.
Moreover, companies that have women among their top managers, have 10% higher profits. And their revenues from innovative products are 20% higher, according to the Boston Consulting Group study.
At first, figuring out the product part of Postoplan’s business was hard, but with time, our team became truly effective because we saw our diversity as strength. Thanks to my thinking that was different from that of the other team members, I saw opportunities and points of growth, and developed a partnership program that brought us more than 10,000 clients all over the world, helped the company at the start, and continues to propel us forward.
The Project’s Core Is Its Team
The success of any female entrepreneur rests on her ability to build a team of highly qualified experts and talented people AND establish long-term relationships with them. A team is the main thing in any business venture: it helps and directs you. No founder, no matter how successful in their field of work, can build up a project on their own. No one can equally well do the jobs of front end and back end developers, marketing professionals, legal counsel, accountants, sales managers, and designers. The team enables you to share responsibilities, come up with more ideas and find more solutions, because it’s made up of people with different life and work experiences and different mentalities.
For the company to grow well, a female entrepreneur should not follow the pattern of “boss-to-subordinate” in her communications with all the employees. A “person-to-person” pattern fits much better here. It’s important to go to your team for help,and to ask for the advice and knowledge of those who surround you. Together with my co-founder Alex Bozhin, we learned about finances, legal technicalities, and social media platforms’ algorithms.
Being A Female Leader Is No Longer A Challenge
A good business person can have any gender: the merits required for this social role are inherent both to men and women. A sharp mind, a sense of responsibility, a good dose of ambition, decisiveness, sense of independence and flexibility are not gender-sensitive, unlike, for example, the physical strength that is more inherent to men. Boys and girls handle math problems equally well, and women are behind many breakthroughs in the sphere of IT. The world is slowly realizing that a woman in business, including IT, is not something new, and that entrepreneurship is no longer a challenge for the female half of the world.
The share of women on IT companies’ Boards of Directors is close to 20%, and the CEOs of largest global corporations are female. Until very recently, it was Ginni Rometti at IBM, and Susan Wojcicki heads YouTube today. In 2019, Business Insider reported that U.S. startups with female founders broke the records in terms of venture investments, raising almost $2 bln in the first half of the year (it was $2.3 bln for the whole of 2018).
Startup is about always moving forward and learning something new. Not because you’re a woman, but because any member of a cross-functional team has to quickly learn about new business areas. The trajectory is common for both women and men, which means that both can start their own projects.
Despite the persistence of stereotypes about female leaders, entrepreneurship is available to them in almost any country of the world. And considering the trend towards creation of diversified teams, business is no longer a boys-only club.