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Start-Ups

The Female Entrepreneur: Besting the Boys’ Club

By Townes Haas   |    August 22, 2014   |    2:52 PM

Entrepreneurship isn’t just for the boys anymore

Entrepreneurship, especially in the high-tech fields, used to be a game for the boys. But women are entering the business and technology fields in greater numbers, and they’re kicking butt.


More and more women are becoming entrepreneurs

Women own 10.6 million businesses in the United States, and they employ one in every seven employees.

Of course, it could still be said that men dominate the business scene. But more and more women are pursuing entrepreneurship each year, and there’s no doubt that they’ll continue to prosper.

However, women still face obstacles in the business world

Even though more women are becoming entrepreneurs it’s still more common for men to reach the upper echelons of business success. It would be great to think that the scales have balanced out, but most women would probably tell you that’s simply not true.

How women can overcome obstacles in entrepreneurship

A “can do” attitude is probably the first prerequisite to success for any entrepreneur, but confidence is even more imperative for female entrepreneurs. Women do things differently than men, and that’s no reason to step back. There are a few ways to overcome some of the most common obstacles in female entrepreneurship, and all they require is confidence in your success.

Network with other business-savvy women

Thanks to the Internet, it’s easier than ever to connect with like-minded women. Entrepreneurship can be lonely, but there are plenty of ways to bond and network with other women who are building their own business empires.Meetup is a popular as a social networking site, but it has many business-oriented groups to choose from as well.

If you’re a female entrepreneur juggling work and childcare, avoid slipping into traditional gender roles

According to Farnoosh Torabi, successful author and businesswomen, as morewomen find business success, their roles at home can become even more challenging. Burnout is a huge risk unless women “commit to a new way of thinking and managing responsibilities.” If there’s a partner involved, managing those expectations is even more important.

Women must establish boundaries between their work lives and their home lives

This tip applies to all entrepreneurs, but for busy women trying to balance their entrepreneurial ambitions with raising a family or maintaining a social life, it’s even more important. When you run the show, it’s all too easy to slip into work mode in the middle of a family dinner or during drinks with friends.

Creating boundaries for work will ease the pain for you and those around you. Put the smartphone away during dinner, stop checking emails after a set time each evening. Dedicate one day of the week to resting and recharging. Write down these “rules” and keep them in a clearly visible place.

Don’t think that you have to fit any personality stereotypes to be successful

So many women feel that they need to embrace a somber attitude to succeed in business and be taken seriously. However, acting unnecessarily harsh or aggressive to prove aptitude won’t help in the long run.

Simple confidence goes a long way for men and for women. Women don’t need to act a certain way to be successful entrepreneurs – skill, and confidence in that skill, is more than enough.

You don’t need a tech degree to work in tech

Women are still woefully underrepresented in technology majors, and that causes many women to shy away from pursuing work in the tech industry. A technology degree is absolutely not a prerequisite for working in high tech companies. Being well educated is important, but women don’t need an engineering degree to work for or with technology companies.

Case in point: Susan Wojcicki, the CEO of YouTube and SVP at Google, studied history and literature during her undergraduate studies, and later earned her masters in economics.

Women entrepreneurs are here to stay

Female-dominated businesses aren’t going anywhere, and they’ll continue to smash through the the traditional Boys’ Club boundaries. If you need more convincing, take a look at this amazing list from Forbes that details why11 Reasons 2014 Will Be A Breakout Year For Women Entrepreneurs. Calling it “inspiring” would be an understatement.