On paper, things may look better today for women in business more than ever before. An increasing number of women are getting into entrepreneurship today, and one can find women in a leading position in several major companies. However, according to Audrey Gellman, this is just a part of the story. Overall, women owned businesses are still in the minority. Moreover, the hurdles faced by women entrepreneurs are often much more than those experienced by their male counterparts. While surely the corporate world is progressing towards embracing women entrepreneurs, its pace is extremely slow and there still are a lot of disparities that need to be overcome.
While there are several issues faced by women entrepreneurs, finance allocation is among the major one. Audrey Gellman underlines that women entrepreneurs like her often receive less than three percent of available venture capital funds, and the number is even lower for women of color. Everyone knows how difficult it is for entrepreneurs to pitch their business strategy to investors, and this is even more complex for women. While technically, a good team and business plan should be the key elements that an investor must focus on, in many cases, their judgment gets clouded by gender bias. It, unfortunately, is extremely common for women to be denied loans or capital investment because of gender and cultural biases, and men-owned businesses get a much better chance of securing a financer or investor. However, it is important that women do not get discouraged by this phenomenon and keep trying consistently to build their business. The ultimate sad truth of society is that women often have to work doubly hard to get the same opportunities available to men, and the problems faced by them in finance allocation is a great example of this scenario.
Audrey Gellman is among the few women who got significant investment capital for her business. But this didn’t decrease the hurdles on her path. With the high capital investment also came a lot of expectations and pressure. Hence, even if their company does receive a good growth rate and press coverage, women entrepreneurs face the constant pressure of doing better. Moreover, this high degree of pressure not only exists in their professional career, but also in their professional lives. A large number of women entrepreneurs have their families, spouses, and other responsibilities, and they are expected to cater to each of them with utmost efficiency. When people see a woman running a business and managing a family side by side, they only witness just a tiny piece of their story. The combined demands from personal and professional commitments can put a huge pressure on women, and often leave them exhausted. Men entrepreneurs, on the other hand, do not face similar expectations. Not many people will even blink an eye if they find a man focusing more on his business than his family.