When it comes to starting and running a business, men and women entrepreneurs face very different challenges. Women entrepreneurs may face discrimination and unfairness at every stage of their business, from winning government contracts to owning corporations and even deciding to start a business in the first place. As a woman entrepreneur, what is the best way to deal with these inequities? Start with knowing what you are up against and how to defend yourself without jeopardizing your business practices or beliefs.
Below are just a few of the adversity’s women are challenged by and continue to work towards overcoming:
Work/life balance: It’s an unspoken law that women everywhere are expected to care for their homes. Starting & running a business is a full-time job. Finding the perfect balance between them is critical, but sadly, women are expected to prioritize their family over their careers in our society. This idea is starting to change as time goes on, though females have a ways to go before gender equality is fully adopted in society.
Confidence: Many women lack confidence as brutal comments and comparisons are frequently directed towards women. Not only that but women are also judged by their appearance which in no way reflects their aptitude and literacy. In fact, an article from CNN found that “women who take more care in their appearance earn higher incomes.” Hopefully, this absurd finding will no longer have an impact on salary as women continue to dominate and grow stronger in the field of entrepreneurship.
Social Expectations: From the start of time, women have been viewed as the ‘housewives’ or the head of the household. As females embark on their journey through the 21st century, their voices are becoming more widely accepted, but there are still social expectations. In a society where women are still stereotyped as those who should stay at home and devote all their attention to their families, it is often frowned upon to leave the house, take risks, and pursue a career, especially entrepreneurship. Along with that, it is difficult for women to gain public trust and recognition after starting a business as compared to males.
This list goes on, but in no way does that mean women do not have a chance at building and running an empire. Tonya Alston, Founder & CEO of ACMA (Alston Contract Management Advisors), is a prime example of a resilient, influential trailblazer as she has found much success in the light of adversity. Tonya states that she’s had to overcome many challenges regarding discrimination within the workplace. Dismissals of recommendations, inappropriate comments, and exclusion are just a few of the many indifferences that led Tonya to break off and start a business that provides an opportunity for individuals of all genders, races, and nationalities. Tonya has made it a mission to create an environment of learning, growth, and abundance for all and continues to do so every day.