As a Serial Entrepreneur, I think about stuff at a prosperous level…a level beyond the prejudices of common society. Here’s an example:
I recently read an article at Forbes website. These five myths about women in business are just plain old stupid if you ask me. I’m glad they are classified as myths because I have personally found in all of the businesses that I have owned and operated, those businesses would have been colossal flops if it were just left up to a bunch of men.
Myth 1. Women belong barefoot and pregnant. This phrasing alone is outdated and offensive. The notion that a woman cannot operate smoothly as an entrepreneur because she also has family and household responsibilities is Neanderthal at best. Men have as much responsibility in the family and household, yet they are not required to remain sweaty and in the garage.
Myth 2. You can’t be cute and smart: Let’s be candid. Pretty people get in the door a bit quicker. Research after research demonstrates that good looking people frequently get more opportunities than not. And then when you open your mouth to contribute an idea, the rubber meets the road. Smart people, savvy thinkers, creative minds, problem solvers and relationship builders sustain your business long after the lipstick wears off. I don’t know one single successful entrepreneur who has built their business strictly on the way their people look (except maybe Playboy Inc.) By the way, cute is as cute does. Cuteness, beauty and attractiveness are much deeper than skin anyway.
Myth 3. No girls allowed. Business is for boys: Jessica Alba, Oprah Winfrey, Ginni Rometty (IBM), Sheryl Sandberg (FB), Rachael Ray, Martha Stewart, Venus and Serena Williams…need I go on? That pretty much handles that myth.
Myth 4. There’s no crying in business. Here’s a news flash…women can be more emotional that men. Well the real truth is that women tend to express their emotions more freely than men, especially in the Western culture. They tend to lay their emotions out on the table much sooner than men. It happens in their home life, their family life, their friendships, and guess what…in business too. That does not make them weak, cry babies or inferior. It just makes women more in touch with the way they feel about things. Of the women that have been in my businesses, most were strong willed, determined and very expressive about the way things could be done in my companies. I would welcome that sort of feedback.
Myth 5. Math is hard for girls: I’m not certain what the Forbes article meant by this. However, in terms of intelligence, women and men bring their own brand of intellect to each task. As an entrepreneur, I’m always in search for the best fit, the best person, with the best skill set and experience for the job at hand. I am also in search for the individual who has the most motivation to get the job done. A person’s intelligence quotient is only a portion of the requirement. How about their emotional intelligence quotient? How about their rapport with people they will work with on the job and with clients? How about their creative quotient? How about their integrity and honest quotient?
As you have probably determined, I have had very good experiences with women working in my companies. Congratulations ladies. Press on.
One thought on “A Rant about the Five Myths of Women in Business..”
Yay! Thank you for this article. These ideas are so dated, it’s almost embarrassing to read. The national stats for the last several years show that women have been starting businesses at a faster rate than men, and women own about 65% of small businesses in the US. While we women may not dominate the corporate business world yet, we are certainly becoming a powerful force as entrepreneurs. More importantly, we are bringing our values of collaboration, sustainability and profitability to our businesses, which is shifting the business world.