This women-focussed article stems from the fact that it’s the time of year when I see women clients who’ve coped with the build-up to Christmas, survived the festivities and got the children back to school. At midnight, as they go into the New Year, many have promised themselves “this year’s going to be different; I really need to get organised and improve my working life.” Women want take charge of their careers, be independent and even to run their own businesses. Why is it then that last year 150,000 more businesses were set up in the UK by men than by women?
Cambridge seems to specialise in organising talks, workshops and conferences to debate this dilemma. Many energetic, intelligent and capable women take part and keenly discuss a multitude of issues. At the end of the day it always comes down to the same things: women have the babies and take on the main responsibility for balancing the family alongside work; they also tend to be more averse to risk than men. It’s such a pity that women can lack the confidence that is needed to grit their teeth in the face of difficulties, thus ensuring that their business ideas come to fruition and prosper. We know women definitely aren’t short of ideas and passion, nor are they work-shy!
In my view, encouraging women into business and supporting them with their major juggling acts is vitally important for the health of our economy, the vibrancy of our business culture and for women’s personal satisfaction and self-esteem. Since women encounter so many difficult and different barriers, they need to ask for and accept all the help they can. I advise my clients to join women’s networking groups, go to local business forums and have 1-to-1 support to help develop their plans and hold their nerves when - as is bound to happen - adversity strikes.
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