The world in which we live has been dominated by patriarchal forces for a large amount of time in both a social and business sense. We have seen men leading the way in all areas of life, with women being left to play a subsidiary role. Nonetheless, things seem to be improving in the modern world as we see greater movements towards empowering women and achieving gender equality. Many thanks must be given to influencers and social media activists who continue to fight for change by using their fame for the better. They work on a daily basis to eradicate stereotypical views held by the majority. One particularly baffling stereotype is that which concerns a woman’s ability to handle money. This is an ideology which I am keen to tackle as I believe it has a direct link to female participation in the business world. Hence, I would like to explore why women are good at handling money and how this can affect their role in the business world. Furthermore, I would like to shed light on reasons as to why women have been deprived of this opportunity in the past.
When comparing the ability to handle money, I believe that we must analyse the spending patterns of men and women. We must also analyse their ability to save money and be cost conscious. According to a 2015-16 study by the Bureau of Labour Statistics, single men tend to spend more than women on items such as food, and cars. Furthermore, men and women tend to spend equal amounts on entertainment; however, women spend more money on clothing. In total, women tend to spend less ($33,786) than men ($35,018) and hence it could be argued that women have an ability to avoid spending which is better than that of their male counterparts. In addition, according to a 2008 study by New Zealand’s Massey University, women are far more likely to visit outlet stores than men – these stores offer items at lower prices than regular stores would do. Since 71% of women are also more likely to look for sales (as noted by an infographic by PaymentSense) it could be argued that women are more cost conscious than men. In spite of this, a 2015 study by BMO Harris suggested that men tend to save more money than women, but that women tend to take more time off from work hence leading to them having fewer savings.
The aforementioned statistics have shown just how women are able to handle money in a competent manner. Hence, one would assume that women would be excellent in business roles and may be a ‘safer bet’ in the world of business. According to research by Womenable, between 1997-2014 female-owned businesses have seen a growth of up to 72.3 per cent. This is almost thirty per cent higher than the growth of male-owned firms. This would suggest that the female ability for entrepreneurship is rather excellent and is underused in many industries. In addition, the growth rate of employment at female-owned firms was higher than at male-owned firms by over 18 per cent (according to the Census Bureau). Thus, women seem to also be able to achieve economic development, as well as growth, which is largely beneficially in the long-term for an economy.
As the statistics show, women are able to achieve business growth and so should be considered as big players in the business world. The question still stands: why are women not invested in? Why does the stereotype that women are poor in the business world still stand? One reason that this view is still held is due to the patriarchal dominance which is still at large within society. Since a large number of men dominate companies, they are far less likely to accept women into their firms if they may feel that men can do a better job or hire in their own vain. The same can be true of the banking systems, decision makers or investors who again tend to favour investment and financial opportunities for men. Unfortunately, the only reason that some firms accept women is to avoid negative publicity. This is, quite frankly, awful because it undermines the ability of women which is clearly able to benefit businesses. Moreover, it could be argued that women are not given a chance in industries because firms do not appreciate their full worth. They are unaware of the capacity for success that women have because they are blinded by ancient stereotypes. The best way, in my opinion, for women to fight these stereotypes is by building their profiles as entrepreneurs in order to show their worth in the business world, ascend the career ladder (kicking through glass ceilings and holding open doors) and of course investing in other women.
The statistics might illustrate that women can be considered as better than men when it comes to handling money and achieving business growth but the issues continue of investment and limited women in silicon valley (and alike) still continues. We must push to raise awareness of how women can be useful in the business world if we wish to achieve equality. This can only be done, however, by using our platforms in a positive manner in order to get rid of the unconscious bias towards men which is deeply rooted in society. Man or women, it is on us to change the status quo – we all need to advocate for one another to achieve true diversity and inclusion.
Source: Are Women Truly Better With Money?
By Bianca Miller Cole, Contributor
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