Sat, 17 Apr, 2021

Do Not Let Gender Decide Your Fate in the Entrepreneurial Lane

By Ruby Shrestha

The overall mentality of people is changing for the better. Previously, a majority of people held conventional thinking: “I need to work hard because I have got to get a good job in a reputed company.” Now, people think: “I need to burn candles at both ends because I want to set up my own company.” See what a large difference the two words get and set create? “Get” a job and “Set Up” a job. I hope you get my point.

With the change in generation, the majority of young minds are inclined towards working as job creators rather than job holders. Let us consider the students of DWIT as an instance. Some young entrepreneurial groups, for example Merohostel.com, have already emerged and many other groups are preparing themselves enthusiastically in order to travel far in the startup lane. And why would they not? Being an entrepreneur does sound interesting!

However, facts reveal that, like many other professions around us, entrepreneurship too has some relationship with gender. Relationship between gender and entrepreneurship has long since been a controversial issue. People have their own versions of how gender plays a role in or has no role in entrepreneurial success. Every year different major global reports shed light on “Gender and Entrepreneurship.” Most of the reports state that there still exists gender inequality where entrepreneurship is concerned, and still females are somehow lagging behind in the entrepreneurial journey.

A paper written by Maria Minniti titled “Gender Issues in Entrepreneurship” published in 2009 mentions that although women make up more than 50 percent of the world population, they own and manage significantly fewer businesses than men.

Furthermore, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2013 Global Report, published in 2014, there are more than 126 million female entrepreneurs now active worldwide. But, there is still a problem. Fewer women than men start a new business and even fewer retain in the market.

Hence, we can see that even after five long years (from 2009 to 2014), the gender issue in entrepreneurship has not yet diluted.

However, in the current context I feel that the gender gap in the ability to start a new business is lessening, and the problem that remains is the gender disparity in business retention in the market. Are you curious to know the reason behind my thinking? Here it goes. I am neither an expert in this field nor a consistent researcher. However, I am an enthusiast and have read some articles concerning this subject (partially though).

In one of the articles published by Emotional Psychology in 2008 titled “Sex Differences in Everyday Risk-Taking Behavior in Humans,” it is pin pointed that males tend to behave in ways that are more risky than females.

Moreover, in another article titled “Sex Difference in Intensity of Emotional Experience: A Social Role Interpretation” by Wendy Wood and Michele Grossman, it is mentioned that women report higher levels of negative effects and depression with respect to negative emotions than men.

We know that survival in business and the entrepreneurial field requires a risk taking ability and a stronger emotional self, and many articles mention that females aren’t that good in these two domains. Hence, these imply that females have a comparatively lower probability to retain their business in the market or retain their sense of self in the entrepreneurial field.

Being a female myself, it is difficult for me to digest the conclusions of these researches. However, we cannot completely deny the researches. After all, these have probably been done with maximum possible surveys, studies and analysis. We should not completely ignore these conclusions thinking that these are mere stereotypical results. Who knows, these might be true. Also, we should not feel down about the conclusions of this research and push ourselves away from the entrepreneurial field thinking that we aren’t capable enough. That would be the biggest mistake because who knows, these results might be false as well. So, what we can do is be positive about the entire matter. We can find room for improvement within ourselves. Why not analyze ourselves when we have time? We should try to figure out how we behave in risky situations and should come up with ways to improve ourselves if there are any. Furthermore, we can analyze how stable we can stay when negative emotions shroud us, and if there is room for correction, we can pick it up and work for better. Similarly, we can find out different ways to analyze and prepare ourselves for a bright entrepreneurial future. Go for it; never stop your search towards improvement!

Finally, let me now introduce you all to a statement from the GEM Thailand Report published by the GEM Thailand team on 2015.

In a global comparison, Thailand and Thailand’s entrepreneurial landscape have some outstanding features. It has gender equality in entrepreneurship (with slightly more women than men involved in entrepreneurial activities).

Hence, we can take this as a positive result and work with full motivation.

Have a dream to become an entrepreneur? Follow it whole-heartedly; do not let the issue of gender hold you back!