Whenever we talk about women in startups and the business world, we often start from a negative note. We talk about gender equality that is required, we show our concern towards discrimination and the challenges that women leaders potentially face. And while talking about all these, we often have a preconceived notion that women are not fit for this field and they should be encouraged and should be given a supportive hand.
It’s true to an extent – a lot of progress is needed to be done by women to be equal to men in this field. But showcasing women as weak is a derogatory remark to those women who have shown strength, intelligence and leadership qualities to thrive in this startup world while making their companies a success. In fact, many studies have shown that the companies with more women on board tend to be more successful over time. Recent studies have also acknowledged that female founders perform better than their male counterparts by 63% when provided an investment in their companies.
Studies suggest that women entrepreneurs are more welcoming as compared to their men
Although the world is slow in understanding the calibre of women, women themselves are leading their own community and proving their mettle in front of others. There are many strong female founders in the country who have done remarkably good for the growth of their companies. They even inspire other women to start their companies and give wings to their dreams. Further, it has been observed that women are more welcoming even when they have achieved great success in their business. They are writing their own rule for setting up their business and are mostly not following the traditional paths that have been set by the male fraternity.
Men introduced open door policy so that any employee could approach the manager without any hesitation. However, these women have mostly no door policy, they work along with their employees and not in separate cabins. They remain involved in each and every activity and happening taking place in the office. These women have proved themselves to be better leaders than men at many places.
Startup culture is more suitable to women owing to its flexible nature
The nature of working in a startup is often different if compared to working in a traditional business. It shows collaboration at every level and a distributive effort of all the team members. One single person is often handling different roles according to the needs. In a startup environment, even if a woman is not a founder she is expected to start giving her contribution from day 1. The startup world is welcoming to women and there is no bias in terms of responsibilities and expectations.
From my own experience in the startup world, I would say that I did not face challenges that only a woman would have faced. My gender was never a factor in my growth and my clients and my employees all respected me in the same way they would have respected a male leader.
In fact, I would say that startups are the best places for women to start their career with. Most of the startups are far away from measuring one’s ability by the number of hours they have spent in the job. Startups have simply one formula that the work is needed – if you can do it in 2 hours, then you are free after 2 hours and if it takes 10 hours, then you need to work for 10 hours. However, timings are mostly flexible in startups. They offer flexible timings along with location which can be suitable for women to have a work-life balance. Majority of startups offer wellness perks to women irrespective of them being married or not and this can be a great support for women to advance in their field. In fact, startup community is much favourable place for women to work.
Many women entrepreneurs have already proved their leadership qualities and are enjoying success
In Indian startup community, there are many women currently pursuing their career with grace and not at all compromising for being a woman. There is Sairee Chahal of Sheroes.com who started a job portal only for women and is now successful. She started Sheroes when no one else was giving concern to the women who have taken sabbatical from their career due to motherhood or other family problems but she acknowledged and created a successful business out of it.
Another name is Ms Surabhi Dewra who started the concept of online career counselling and has been helping millions of students across the country. She took career counselling to another level through creating a network of career counsellors all across the country who can help any student in the country irrespective of his/her physical location.
Nandini Shenoy is yet another name which has become popular not even in the startup community but also in Bollywood industry. She led her passion into profession and is currently one of those very successful women entrepreneurs.
These stories are not meant to inspire young women but to tell them that they are made for this and they should not let anybody judge them based on their gender. Before anybody tells them, women should themselves understand that they are all equal in the startup community and should be ready to face the challenges that all entrepreneurs face in general.
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