Women are becoming more involved in the business world by having well established careers and businesses that are performing very well all over the world. Their businesses are growing and contributing significantly to the economies of their countries. They have been able to develop careers and businesses in areas that were initially regarded as the domain of men. As they enter this environment, they have developed new styles of carrying out business and come up with ways that are different from those that were being used by men in the past.
There are various reasons that have inspired the women to start their own businesses and join the male dominated territory. Some of these reasons are derived from the needs that these women have. Financial security and the need to achieve something in their lives are some of these reasons that have inspired the women to come up with various businesses. Other reasons include seeking independence and flexibility to allow then to determine how they want to work and when they want to work. One of the major challenges that women face as they carry out their business is the ability to balance their work and their family.
The women face this challenge as they are not able to separate the business side of things and the family side. However, there are various steps that these women can carry out to ensure that they strike a balance between their business work and their family roles. Some of the steps include coming up with a schedule of events and time that can help the women manage their time. They can also talk to their families and make them understand the importance of the jobs and how much it means to them. Their families can then be in a position to respect the business and value it.
Developing a work cycle that fits the family life cycle can also help the women to create more opportunities and chances of spending time with their families without affecting the performance of the business. 1. 0 Introduction Women in the recent past have become more involved in business with many of them starting up their own businesses. The rate of women starting their own businesses is increasing with the rate being twice that of the national average. Some of these women have more than a hundred employees in their businesses (Ericksen & Young, 1999).
They have been going forward in their ventures and succeeding. These women have been able to prove that the world of business is not only a man’s world. They have gone and succeeded in areas that are considered male territory in business such as real estate, moving, restaurant business among others. The women have also maintained their characteristics and experiences of being mothers, daughters and wives as they carry on business. This paper discusses the experiences of women in business including the entrepreneurs and how they balance their work and family. 2. Women in Business In the past, men have been involved in business establishing rules and structures to be followed in organizations. However more women are getting involved and becoming part of the business world in one way or another. They have been able to enter this male dominated environment and they have been changing the way things are done and making positive contributions to the development of businesses and organizations. They have introduced new methods and styles of doing things that are very different from the methods were being followed by the men.
Most of these women have formed their own businesses which they have developed from their own unique ideas and talents that they possess. In the United States alone, there are more than ten million businesses that have been started by women. These businesses have employed over 13 million people (Gunelius, The Importance of Women-Owned Business Certification, n. d). In 2008, such businesses were able to impact the national and local economies greatly and significantly generating sales of over $1. 9 trillion (Gunelius, n. d).
Women have been inspired to work hard in their businesses pushing them to great heights and reaching new levels. These women are persistent and they leave undeniable marks on the economy they impact. Most of these women have made plans and they continue to make plans for the future of their businesses with about 37% of them planning to leave their businesses in the hands of their daughters (Gunelius, Statistics About Women Business Ownders from Center for Women’s Business Research, n. d). This will help ensure that such businesses owned by women will be here to stay.
2. 1 Reasons for Joining Business. There are various factors that make the women to join the world of entrepreneurship and leave their current employment levels. Other women who are merely stay at homes have been driven to start their own businesses. These women have been inspired to start their own business that range in all sorts of industries. Other women have been inspired to start businesses that they are able to operate from home. Some of the women use their professional skills and competencies to start their own businesses while others use their hobbies and talents as the foundation and acquire the skills that are needed.
Majority of these women when starting these businesses do not have any business knowledge or background but due to their passion and ambition they are able to succeed. (a) Financial Security There are various reasons that make women get involved in business with some starting their own businesses. Most of these women usually state economic necessity as one of the reasons that they start their own businesses. They start this business as they look for a source of income to make ends meet. The income they get is used to sustain their family and provide for the needs of their family.
Financial security is the major driving force for most women who join business starting their own businesses (Lake, Conway, & Whitney, 2005). (b) Flexibility and Independence Most of these women are mothers and they like to work using their own schedules so that they are able to spend more time with their children and family. They then choose the option of starting their own businesses that will allow them to be flexible and juggle their personal lives with their work. Having their own business allows them to freedom and independence to decide when to work and where to work from (Lake, Conway, & Whitney, 2005).
Most of the women entrepreneurs choose to work from their homes and just create an office in one of the rooms in their houses. (c) Corporate Glass Ceiling Some women experience a situation where they are not able to proceed further in their careers. Corporate glass ceiling is a situation where certain careers in business cannot exceed a particular level in growth. In that career there are simply no other levels that can be achieved above the current level. Women who experience such a situation end up starting their own businesses that give them more options in their careers and more fulfillments.
The women are driven by this inspiration and they become their own boss (DeYoung, n. d). (d) Solving a Problem Some women entrepreneurial spirit is started off by the need to solve a particular problem that they experience and others in the society as well. They then develop a solution to the problem and then make money out of it as they help solve the problem effectively. Some of these women include Julie Clark. She came across a problem of lack of educational videos for small children and from then started to make them for her babies.
She later founded a company by name The Baby Einstein that was involved in production of educational videos for young children (DeYoung, n. d). (e) Personal Achievement Some women are driven to start their own business by the desire to achieve some goals or achievements professionally (Lake, Conway, & Whitney, 2005). For most of the women who are driven by this desire, tangibles are not part of their quest. They are driven by perseverance and the desire to achieve something on their won with their own knowledge and abilities and operate a business.
From the business they start they are able to achieve and make a significant impact in their lives, their families and the people around them. 2. 2 Challenges Faced In Business Entrepreneurs face several challenges when they are starting off and as the businesses grow. Women however face more challenges and obstacles as they carryout their own business (Gunelius, Challenges Facing Women in Business, n. d). These challenges although they are many they are not able to deter them from carrying out their businesses and becoming successful.
They have been able to overcome these challenges and continue growing their businesses. One of these challenges is the lack of equal opportunity in the business environment. (a) Gender Discrimination The business environment has for a very long time been male dominated. It has drawn very clear lines on gender, and these lines have extended in all business areas. There are very few businesses that have been regarded to be for women. Most women when they start of their businesses in areas that were not regarded for them, they face a lot of gender related discrimination (Gunelius, Challenges Facing Women in Business, n. ). This mostly happens to women who are of a different race or color than the men. Studies have shown that more women who are of African American origin are discriminated in the business environment (Lake, Conway, & Whitney, 2005). (b) Family Pressure Some of the women who start of their own businesses they are overwhelmed by the activities that are involved in their businesses and they are not able to maintain a balance between their businesses and their families. This is one of the challenges that face women all over the world who are also mothers and have families to take care of.
The balance between the business and the family life becomes hard to achieve and in most cases their family life suffers. The family pressures then take a toll on their relationships and their roles as mothers (Gunelius, Challenges Facing Women in Business, n. d). (c) Unequal Opportunities One other challenge that faces many women, who start of their own businesses especially in an area that is highly dominated by men, is the lack of opportunities that are equal (Gunelius, Challenges Facing Women in Business, n. d). They face these challenges as they carry out their daily business activities and seek funds for their businesses.
These challenges interfere with their businesses and they are not able to move and grow as expected. Studies have shown that most women do not receive equal opportunities in the business environment especially in financial institutions with over 67% of them reporting difficulties when accessing funds (“Women Entreprenuers,” n. d). 3. 0 Work/Family Balance As women become more involved in the business environment developing their businesses, they are constantly faced with the challenge of managing their time properly between their business and their family.
They are constantly seeking ways to manage and balance these two important sides of their life. Entrepreneurship on its own enables the women to manage their time and develop schedules that suit their life and their families as well (Women entrepreneurs, n. d). They are able to attend to family matters and other family activities and still be able to carryout their businesses. The flexibility and independence allows to allocate more time when need be to the family in various stages of her life and make up for any time lost with her family. 0% of most of the working women are driven to start their own businesses in order to enjoy this flexibility and independence (Business Women and Challenges of Work, Family, n. d). Even though the women entrepreneurs have the freedom to be flexible and spend time with their families some are not able to balance the two. There are various steps that women can follow to ensure that they are able to balance their lives and manage their time properly between their work and their life and hence create a balance.
3. 1 Developing a Mindset and Keeping Perspective. The women who have difficulty managing their time properly and balancing their family life and work should be able to keep a proper perspective and mindset. They should stay focused in their relationships in their family as they are valuable aspects of their life. The relationships should be maintained at all times and decisions made should be able to maintain them. These relationships are very important as they are the sources of happiness and they influence how the work is done and the quality that is maintained (Ericksen & Young, 1999).
The perspective and mind set taken should put this relationships first and the business second. Businesses and work should be seen as ways of supporting the relationships. This mindset when grounded can help in the decision making process and ensure that the decision s that are made focus on maintaining these relationships above all else. Work should also be treated with respect and the family should also be advised to respect the business time and value it. The women should show the families the importance of the work and what it means to them.
They should also strive to do everything they can to make the work succeed. When they treat the work with a lot of respect and value the families are also able to see this and they in turn develop the same respect and value in that business (Isidro, 2010). 3. 2 Developing a Schedule A schedule can be made that can help the women to manage the time effectively. The schedule when followed can help the women to allocate enough time for the family and the business and avoid conflicts.
Regular working hours can be established and maintained and any unexpected occurrence of events can be handled carefully and time compensated appropriately (Isidro, 2010). The schedule can also include frequent time breaks for the women to spend some time with the children during those breaks. The breaks can be used as a way of relaxing and spending time with the family and giving them undivided attention at this time. A schedule can also be made for the family vacations and weekends. Some women find it difficult to work when their families are at home during the summer and other holidays.
Therefore a schedule can be made to include the time the family should take vacations and holidays together. The family can be involved in the making of the schedule to ensure that they are able to understand the importance of the vacation and the impact it has on the business (Business Women and Challenges of Work, Family, n. d). They will be able to offer their support and allow the women to work undisturbed and respect the working hours. 3. 3 Outsourcing and Delegating Women should not see themselves as super heroes and tend to take on all the activities of the business on their own.
They can allocate some of the activities and tasks to some of the employees they can trust and then handle the more complex tasks. They can also outsource some of the work from other businesses to be able to save on time to spend with their families. They can stick to accomplishing only what they need to do on their own to ensure that the business remains productive. The faster they do their work the more time they have with their families. Getting a personal assistant when the business activities increase can allow them to spend more time with their families and still be able to make the businesses successful.
Through networking the women can be able to identify other businesses that can be able to handle some of the activities of their business and outsource it to them (Lake, Conway, & Whitney, 2005). 3. 4 Being Fit and Healthy A woman managing her own business should strive to keep herself healthy and fit to ensure that she is able to carry out the business and the family as well. She should stay healthy and take good care of herself in a way that she is able to take care of her family. If she is able to take care of herself then she will be more likely to be in a position to take care of her family.
When working she should only take up jobs that do not strain her mentally and physically. Once she feels that she is almost burning out she should relax and take a break. Prioritizing her activities and tasks should help her deal with only what is important. She should also learn to say no in certain circumstances and avoid feeling guilty when she says no. She should just strive to do her best and deal with her life one day at a time. She can also join support groups that can help her deal with some of the issues in her business. Such support groups can be identified through networks both in the community and online (Isidro, 2010). . 5 Match the Life Cycle and the Business Cycle Women entrepreneurs can seek to match the work cycle with that of the family in order to spend more time with them. They should not be in a hurry to accomplish so much in their business and forget their families (Gunelius, Challenges Facing Women in Business, n. d). They should instead work hard where they can and use the slow road since it will still get them there. They should also be gentle with themselves and come up with ways that will allow them to spend time with their families.
The women can for example wake up early enough and perform some of the work that is needed urgently in order to ensure that they are able to spend some time with their family during breakfast. They can also use the weekend to recover some of the time that is lost during the week as they also take a break. Another way to ensure that she is able to spend more time with the children is to work late at night when the children are asleep and it is quiet since they are able to concentrate more and accomplish more tasks then.
During the day they can then spend the time with their children and play with them. The women can also avoid answering phone calls when they are spending time with their families or replying to email. When they are with their families they can switch off their mobile phones to avoid interrupting the time they are spending with their families (Isidro, 2010). 3. 6 Family’s Commitment The family should be made to understand the importance of the business and how it is operated. Making them understand will ensure that they are supportive and committed to ensure that it is successful.
It is important to teach them and let them know how the business is doing, whether the money is tight and when it is doing well. They can help and come up with ideas that can be used to improve and make it better and offer moral support when things are not going well (“Women entrepreneurs,” n. d). The women should also consider the needs of their families and support them when they need the support (Isidro, 2010). Some of the needs of the family can be handled at a later time while others need urgent attention. Women should be able to identify some of the needs that are urgent and handle them immediately.
Several minutes can be used to solve a problem and avoid severe consequences. The several minutes can also portray concern to the family and the issue at hand. This is importantly helpful as it helps strengthen the family relationships. Constant communication with the family should help the women identify issues that are affecting the family and the needs that they are going through. 4. 0 Conclusion Women are becoming more involved in the business environment and performing very well. They have opened up their own businesses out of ideas they have developed.
From these ideas they have been able to generate a lot of money for the national economies and contributed significantly to the society. Their businesses are driven by the need to help and the desires and passion of these women. Despite the challenges the women have faced that are unique to the business environment, they have been able to overcome them through perseverance and a lot of hard work. The women who have made it are able to inspire and motivate the other women to come up and develop their own businesses and succeed. They have also become role models in their society and all over the world through their achievements and successes.
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