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The challenges women executives face in the workplace

In fact, more than 11 million U.

7 Challenges Women Entrepreneurs Face (and How to Overcome Them)

But these numbers only tell part of the story. Women-owned firms are still in the minority, and the hurdles faced by women who have embraced entrepreneurship are vast and often very different than those experienced by their male counterparts.

To shed light on some of these disparities, Business News Daily asked female CEOs about the key challenges women entrepreneurs face and how to overcome them.

Test of Commitment

Defying social expectations Most female business owners who have attended networking events can relate to this scenario: You walk into a crowded seminar and can count the number of women there on one hand. When women entrepreneurs talk business with primarily male executives, it can be unnerving.

  • If a man fails, his buddies dust him off and say, 'It's not your fault; try again next time;
  • Men often see no issues in having some competencies not covered as learning is seen as part of the job;
  • For promising men, potential is enough to win the day, according to Catalyst, a think tank focused on women in the workplace;
  • Some system is crashing in Bulgaria, so you get on the plane in the middle of the night and dash off and spend the weekend wrestling with routers and come back a hero;
  • Companies that have launched shadow programs for women since 2010 include Adobe Systems Inc.

In this sort of situation, women may feel as though they need to adopt a stereotypically "male" attitude toward business: But successful female CEOs believe that remaining true to yourself and finding your own voice are the keys to rising above preconceived expectations. Don't conform yourself to a man's idea of what a leader should look like. Raising capital is even more difficult for women-owned firms. Bonnie Crater, president and CEO of Full Circle Insightssaid venture capitalists tend to invest in startups run by people of their own "tribe" — for instance, a Stanford-educated investor will want to back a Stanford alum's business.

Women in leadership: Walking the gender tightrope

This means that VC firms with female partners are more likely to invest in women-run startups. But according to the Babson report, that accounts for only 6 percent of U.

Women looking for business investors should build confidence through a great team and business plan, recommends Crater. According to Hanson, groups like hers are "looking to not only inspire and encourage female investors, but to grow and support other female entrepreneurs through both funding and strategic educational workshops.

8 big problems for women in the workplace

Therefore, they will provide funding at lower levels than requested. Women need to understand this dynamic and approach their pitches accordingly.

  • Caryl Rivers and Rosalind C;
  • Cindy Gallop, founder and former chairwoman of the U;
  • This bias is especially rampant in the booming high-tech industry;
  • Feeling sidelined at work and stretched at home, many choose a fresh start elsewhere.

Struggling to be taken seriously At one time or another, most women CEOs find themselves in a male dominated industry or workplace that does not want to acknowledge their leadership role. This was especially difficult for Gutterman, who faced presumptions that she was living off her father's and grandfather's reputation.

To combat them, she's joined a variety of women entrepreneur groups.

Challenges for women leaders in 2017

Owning your accomplishments The communal, consensus-building qualities encouraged in young girls can leave women unintentionally downplaying their own worth. As I grow the business, I am making an effort to own what I've accomplished. I was never unprepared for the questions I knew would come.

You never know who has the capacity to help," said Addie Swartz, CEO of reacHIREwhich connects companies to women who are returning to work after a break or women looking for new roles and advancement. If you don't ask, you won't get. Balancing business and family life Parent entrepreneurs have dual responsibilities to their businesses and to their families; finding ways to devote time to both is key to truly achieving that elusive work-life balance, said Genga.

Challenges for women leaders in 2017

For Michelle Garrett of Garrett Public Relationsfinding this balance meant leaving a corporate job and starting her own consulting business before her first child was born. Coping with a fear of failure Failure is a very real possibility in any business venture, but Kristi Piehl, founder and CEO of Media Minefieldadvises women to not let their insecurities keep them from dreaming big.

She encourages women to work through the moments of self-doubt that every business owner faces and not wait for perfection before starting their business or taking on a big promotion. Failure also should not be viewed as a negative or an excuse for relinquishing your goals, according to Swartz. The road to success is paved with losses, mishaps and mistakes, but it still can lead to where you want to go as long as you don't lose sight of your ultimate destination.

But whatever you do, do not give up.

How Men & Women See the Workplace Differently

Some source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article. Her prior experience includes stints in corporate communications, publishing, and public relations for non-profits. Reach her by email. You May Also Like.