With major changes in societal norms and the global acceptance of gender differences, it is clear to see that entrepreneurship is no longer male-dominated. With more women around the world making their mark in various fields despite the barriers that still exist, there are more and more women-owned businesses cropping up. For example, regardless of the entrepreneurship barriers young Indonesian females face, the World Bank has estimated that almost half of Indonesia’s small and medium enterprises are women-owned – making clear the drive to succeed. As the numbers continue to grow and more women successfully pave the way to claim their spot in a male-dominated field, supercharging their careers is bound to transform the business world for future generations.
In this blog, we discuss how women in business are enacting significant change and ways to overcome the common barriers that one might face.
As mentioned, there have been several changes in terms of opportunities that are being presented to women. Back in the 90s women were mainly doing domestic tasks and men were the breadwinners of families, further pushing the traditional gender role perception onto individuals. But in the 2000s, this began to change and simultaneously brought about a stream of positive changes to the business landscape. While discrepancies still exist when looking into aspects such as representation and equality, there is a list of positives that women are able to bring into the field of business.
Some of the key transformations that women have been able to bring to the world of business include:
The chat about gender equality revolves around men and women having equal responsibilities, rights and opportunities. This also means valuing women and men equally to ensure a healthier and safer society. While supporting the cause of gender equality necessitates some level of dissociation when it comes to discussing certain gender-focused biological traits, research has shown that there are indeed some differences when it comes to competencies between men and women. According to research by the Korn Ferry division, women score higher than men on most emotional intelligence competencies. Since soft skills are known to make a world of difference when one takes on an executive role, the qualities of conflict management, adaptability and the like are crucial to have. This means that women thrive in such roles, bringing in a unique set of skills and competencies.
Imagine this: in a Biology class full of Philosophy majors, the discussions and ideas that are shared might differ drastically from a discussion had with a group of actual Biology majors. Similarly, as more women make their footing in the world of business, more innovative and fresh ideas are bound to be shared in a male-dominated space. Be it in terms of products, services or business models, women will bring a new perspective. This will, in turn, impact change on how customers perceive a brand. As a matter of fact, according to the McKinsey Global Institute report, advancing women’s equality can add $12 trillion to global growth. Other research backs this fact up too – according to gender diversity business The Pipeline, businesses with women in executive roles tend to perform better and have a profit margin that is 10 times higher.
As more women find their way into the world of business, their presence itself acts as a form of representation. This will, as result, inspire more women to do the same and thrive in the industry, slowly creating a more inclusive work environment. As more women join the corporate world, persistent gender stereotypes will slowly but surely be eradicated, creating a much-needed change for a global shift to happen.
Though there are certainly many positives that will be brought about by women in business, there are just as many challenges that might hinder their road to success. From gaining the proper funding while there is still a huge gender disparity to the lack of representation in senior roles, there are undeniably a few challenges we will have to face as we make progress toward inclusivity and diversity.
The best way to navigate the above-mentioned issues is to empower women to start their own businesses and create opportunities that can then be taken upon by other women and future generations. While there might seemingly be other solutions to overcome these hurdles, by having women own their abilities and take that major leap of faith to make the change they’ve always wanted to see, the core issue will be sorted.
Relaying her own take on the challenges businesswomen might face, Liwa Supriyanti explains, “As women take the necessary steps to break the glass ceiling, changes such as more women taking on senior leadership roles are bound to be observed. This will create a domino effect that is vital for making a permanent change. Therefore, at Gunung Prisma, we are constantly looking inwards. We aim to create a safe space where women can thrive and provide them with the tools to succeed in this male-dominated steel industry.”
The message is clear – women have the skills and ability to transform the world of business but there is still room for improvement when it comes to them taking on senior roles. By inspiring women to take the first step and by helping them make their presence known, not only will it boost economic growth but social issues such as gender equality will be effectively addressed as well.
With the goal to have both men and women be at the forefront of society and our business, Gunung Prisma is constantly taking steps to be an inclusive business. Adding to this, Liwa states “As a woman myself, I always strive to take risks without shying away from the male-dominated steel industry. Leveraging the immediate help and support system that is easily accessible to me, I aim to positively impact women and businesses all over the world. This is something I believe every organisation and business woman should do as well.”