George Deriso

George Deriso

1047 days ago
Sally, I applaud your courage for asking a question all of us should have to answer to. It's bigger than women in small business, of course. It's really about women around the world in all walks of life. In business, a small portion of the issues are addressed by Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, in this recent video interview: http://bloom.bg/xfWKK3. Most governments are run by men. Only 4% of the Global 1000 companies are led by women. In the U.S., only 2% of the Fortune 500 companies are led by women. These facts are not because women are incompetent or somehow incapable - it's because they are not widely accepted in leadership roles. Yet when they are welcomed, they make a staggeringly positive difference. I recommend reading "Brain Sex: The Real Difference Between Men and Women" by Anne Moir and David Jessel, two British authors who have spent years poring through the enormous corpus of research on the physiological, emotional and psychological differences between the genders. It likely will be unsurprising to you that it turns out that both sexes are necessary in co-leadership postions in order to assure the highest level of success. Keep up the great work, and keep asking "why?"...
Sally Smith

Sally Smith

1047 days ago
Wow, some interesting responses here!

Trish, wow it's shocking that all that happened to you. Great to hear you stayed strong! Nothing says "I told you so" quite like success... Or a boat!

Nigel, what happened to the SNAGs? At the risk of showing my age, I remember the late '80s when SAGs were everywhere. It seems to be a phrase that has slipped from our vocabulary. Anyway, good to hear that there's some of you still out there!

George, I'll see if I can track down that book when I have a chance, it sounds interesting. 4% is shockingly low!
Nigel Smith

Nigel Smith

1046 days ago
George
Interesting data, and I agree. However I will take you to task on your comment that "...it's because they are not widely accepted in leadership roles."

At a grass roots level I think women have been well represented in business for many decades now. Evidence demonstrates that women are well accepted in business life. The disparity in the upper echelons of business, I believe comes more from complex cultural forces within our society attributed to women themselves as well as the biological differences which dictate that women give primary care to children. Some women forgo their biological urges in order to forge a career within their profession. Many, however, succumb. This natural attrition of women from the work force creates this disparity. There are literally far fewer women contenders for corporate positions due to the fact that most drop out and find it difficult to get back in. Men would suffer the same if they took 10-15 years off to raise a family. I think the point that Sheryl Sandberg makes is that women must learn stay in the game. She says that many women are self-defeated long before they actually make a decision to opt-out for a family and then less inclined to re-enter. This may be more down to how our brains are wired differently than discrimination.

At the end of the day is this forum about whether women can make it to the top of the corporate ladder or how women can develop competitive small businesses. From an SME perspective I feel focus should be on the special needs of women with families to enable them to excel at business. Also, how women react to the same market, social and economic forces as men will determine their relative competitiveness.
Nigel Smith

Nigel Smith

1033 days ago
Australian Businesswomen's Network is a really great website for women in business in Australia.
www.abn.org.au

Although this is really a good site full of great business info for anyone regardless of gender, I can't help thinking this approach is a little elitist and imo goes a little way to reinforcing the gender bias. Much of the information from this site is general and can be found in other gender generic business sites, however I do believe it provides great inspiration and role modelling from women business leaders.
Nigel Smith

Nigel Smith

980 days ago
Renowned architect Zaha Hadid recognized for breaking architecture’s glass ceiling. "Her views on sexism in the profession are, unsurprisingly, candid."

http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/design-architecture/zaha-hadid-recognized-for-breaking-architectures-glass-ceiling/5618?tag=nl.e660
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