Women in Business: How We Can Help Them Thrive
It comes as no surprise that female entrepreneurs are on the rise, and female-led businesses are sprouting up all over the country. Some of our most loved brands are led by inspiring head strong women – but with that in mind, the fight for more women at the head of the table continues…
Did you know that 1 in 10 women in the UK want to start up on their own but don’t? We must look to the lack of guidance and encouragement from the government. Many women feel as if they are unable to take the financial plunge, particularly those with young children.
In 2015, businesses set up by women contributed £3.5bn to the UK economy and created 77,000 jobs – however, the proportion of the UK’s female working population was just a little under 5%.
We believe that minimising the strain of childcare within the family will help to increase the number of women taking the plunge to make their dreams come true. The OECD has calculated that England has the highest childcare costs for couples – it sits at about 40 per cent of a household’s combined disposable income.
For new mothers, the difficulty is going back to work, or even finding the desire to want to go back. For many women, it works out cheaper to stay at home and save on childcare costs. On the other hand, those who have returned to work, and are trying to work up the ranks, feel that they’re risking their place in the business if they take time off. Either way, something needs to be done to take this strain off of women – it’s time we make a change.
Interestingly, in recent years, we have seen a rise in women angel investors and in turn a growth in female entrepreneurship. Their determination and support for women-led businesses and female entrepreneurs means that more women are given a seat at the table. However, a lack of childcare support for women that are not high ranking in their businesses could lead to a ‘’gender investment gap.’’
Women at mid-weight positions may feel that they can’t or probably shouldn’t invest in a business or project, particularly due to other financial responsibilities. With a government led childcare infrastructure, these women will be able to get their finances in order and feel confident enough to invest in something they truly believe in.
Whatever your situation is - you are worthy of succeeding in your field, and with a little help and sensitivity around childcare, the possibilities are endless.