In focus: Women in business

Following on from our look into the rise of flexible working, we have decided to shine a light on another area which regularly evokes passionate responses from our readers – the role of women in business.

Our second monthly focus will see us conduct research and invite expert opinions to comment on the glass ceilings confronting women in the workplace, the challenges and obstacles facing female entrepreneurs, the lack of women in STEM careers and ways to promote diversity across different industries.

Each day this month we’ll be asking our writers, along with special guest contributors, to put forward their side of the argument, as we look to uncover the challenges, breakthroughs and future facing the growing female workforce.

Let the debate begin…

New research: Female entrepreneurs are twice as ambitious as male counterparts

A new report released by the Centre for Entrepreneurs has revealed the stark difference in ambition between male and female entrepreneurs in Britain…

Case study: The interesting case of Jamaican managers

The discourse around gender parity is typically depressing. Whether it’s the paucity of women in the boardroom or the fact that the pay gap remains at 19.7 per cent for average earnings, the news is rarely positive. However, new research from Expert Market has gone against the trend and revealed that some regions around the world have made significant progress in redressing the gender balance.

New research reveals Jamaica and Colombia leading the way in gender equality

You’re more likely to have a female boss in Jamaica than in any other country in the world, according to a new report that shows some encouraging signs for female managers…

Start-ups welcome a new wave of female angel investors

New research reveals that angel investors are increasing in number, with many of the individuals behind the rise being both female and younger than the current crop…

Why do we still have a problem with female business leaders?

New research reveals that progress for women in business is happening at a considerably slower pace than in the world of politics, with both still having some way to go...

Is it time for start-ups to confront their problem with diversity?

Brand new research shows UK start-ups have alarmingly low female representation on their board of directors, which could be causing the economy to suffer...

The worrying truth about the UK gender pay gap

It’s 2014 and gender equality in Britain is getting worse, not better. A new report highlights a truly depressing set of statistics and inequalities facing women in the workplace...

‘Homepreneurs’ study reveals major gender imbalance

The 2014 Home Business Report, released by Enterprise Nation, has revealed the extent to which female entrepreneurs dominate the work-from-home cultural shift...

The magic of 'Dot Alchemy' for women in business

HubDot, the female network founded by Simona Barbieri, brings diverse women together to hear ideas, be inspired by each other and create connections that go beyond business. Transformational connections - is what Hub Dot is all about...

Victoria Beckham named Britain’s most successful entrepreneur of 2014

Business Magazine, Management Today, places the former pop star at the top of their list of the 100 best UK entrepreneurs of the year as she registers employment growth figures of 3,233 percent...

Why women are the answer to the STEM skills gap

This month’s UN International Day of the Girl Child, coupled with Malala Yousafzia’s winning of the Nobel Prize, provided a timely reminder of the inequality many young women continue to face worldwide...

Virgin StartUp to celebrate female entrepreneurs at Ignition event

November’s event will see Virgin StartUp offer up inspiration and advice for female entrepreneurs. 40 percent of StartUp loans currently go to women in business, a number they would like to see rise...

What Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's comments say to women in tech

Women should not ask for pay rises, as it is not “good karma”. This was the message from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, as he addressed a convention for women in tech. Not surprisingly, Nadella’s words have met with public outcry, with many berating the CEO for negating all of the positive messaging aimed at bridging the still prevalent gender pay gap.

Female entrepreneurship is no longer just a gender issue, it's an economic one

Babou Olengha-Aaby, is the CEO and Founder ofMums Mean Business – the first crowdfunding platform dedicated to helping aspiring and existing mumpreneurs raise the necessary funds needed to start and grow successful and sustainable businesses...

The small business owners disrupting the ‘entrepreneur’ stereotype

Owning a business has stereotypically always been a male pursuit. But new research from the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactuers and Commerce (The RSA) suggests that this stereotype is being challenged – particularly in the online craft making and selling industry.

New research: Female entrepreneurs reach record levels of happiness

The latest addition of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Report has discovered that established female business owners are twice as happy as non-entrepreneurs...

Women in tech - has the Silicon Valley scene got a case to answer for?

More women than ever are in full time work in the UK, 67% in fact, yet their prominence in STEM sectors is still appallingly low. Women who work in technology are less likely to make the board of directors than in other sector. For decades IT has been seen as a boy’s subject in school, meaning it’s no coincidence that an embarrassingly meagre 3% of tech start-ups in Silicon Valley are formed by women.

The rise of female leadership... not a moment too soon

One of the numerous reasons I count myself lucky to have grown up in what was effectively a matriarchy is that I never had to intellectualise or adapt to the idea of women as leaders...

Forget the labels - why business needs more compassion

Women the world over have always been engaged in business, whether it’s running the family home, taking care of children, running a government or looking after a corporation...

Women in STEM - why engineers don't come in pink or blue

Hello, my name is Beth and I am thrilled to be an aerospace engineer, first at NASA and now with Virgin Galactic. But does being a woman make a difference in my work? Does the workplace believe engineers come as either pink or blue based on gender? 

Are women the largest growing economy?

In the UK, 46% of the workforce is female and their employment rate is the highest since 1971. Underlying these figures is the amount of women setting up their own businesses and doing it for themselves...

Women in STEM - the shocking stats

It is well acknowledged within STEM industries that women are heavily underrepresented in the workplace. Excluding medicine, approximately 17% of STEM professionals are women, despite women making up 46% of the UK’s workforce; within the engineering sector, this figure stands shockingly at just 8%...

 

Risking it - the real gender divide in business

“If Lehman Brothers had been Lehman Sisters the global financial crisis would never have happened.” The famous quip by Christine Lagarde, France’s finance minister, was a response to a journalist’s question about women’s strength in times of crisis. But it did lead to lot of debate around the differences between the way that men and women behave in business...

Stop fixing women, start fixing cultures

Aviva Wittenberg-Cox wrote a wonderful blog called Stop Fixing Women, Start Fixing Managers. I’d like to take it even further. No one needs to be ‘fixed’. People are a part of an eco-system – and if that system doesn’t support change, then change won’t happen...

 

Girls just want to have fun! Why female business owners tend to stay small rather than expand

Of course stating ‘female business owners tend to stay small rather than becoming industry changers’ is a massive generalisation. However, we also know that the majority of sole-traderships and small start-ups are owned and run by women, who typically want these businesses to stay small and easy to manage. So perhaps it’s pretty accurate...

Reinventing the top: five ways to make business more enticing

None of the brilliant professional women I know like the idea of being a female 'quota', brought in to lead a business because of their gender rather than their ability. Many would argue that without quotas there is no way that we will ever see females rise to the top...

The WAH Nails approach to business: "If you talk about it more than three times, you should be getting on with it."

If you haven't heard of WAH Nails before, you might want to think again - those tribal, leopard, floral, half-mooned, intricate pieces of nail art you've seen on ladies (and men) are all down to London's coolest lady entrepreneur, founder and owner of WAH Nails - Sharmadean Reid.

The arrival of the third women's revolution, and not a moment too soon

“What is a good life?” has been a question asked by philosophers going back to the Ancient Greeks. But somewhere along the line we abandoned the question and shifted our attention to how much money we can make, how big a house we can buy, and how high we can climb up the career ladder...

The rise of the mumpreneur

It is a stark fact that many women find it really difficult to return to work after taking time out to have children. No matter how good their qualifications or experience, the impossibility of finding a job which is both flexible enough to allow them to be able to combine it with bringing up children but yet which pays enough to cover childcare costs can be overwhelming....

Infographic: are women discriminated against in the workplace?

As part of our focus on women in business we have commissioned YouGov to conduct some research into the UK’s perception of gender diversity and discrimination in the workplace, as you can see, the results are rather conclusive...

Women in business Q & A: Kat Cole answers your questions

Following the success of Kat Cole’s top five tips for female entrepreneurs, we’ve asked the Cinnabon President to return for our women in business series in order to answer your questions via Facebook...

Should government legislation be introduced to promote diversity in business?

A lack of gender diversity in the boardroom, and gender inequality in the promotional stakes, are issues that have dominated headlines, pushed their way up the business agenda, and frustrated career women for many years...

New research: genders divided on workplace discrimination

As part of this month’s focus on women in business, we've been exploring attitudes towards equality in the workplace, as well as its impact on entrepreneurship. This week we unveil the startling results of research commissioned by Virgin and carried out by YouGov on the subject...

Is 'group think' stopping true diversity being achieved in business?

The issue of diversity, including gender, has received a lot of attention and good progress has been made, but there is still a long way to go before many workplaces reap the full yield of a diverse and gender rich workplace...

How women are changing the face of start-ups

More women than ever before are starting up their own high street businesses, research from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has revealed. In the last two years, 49.5% of all hotel, catering, leisure and retail start-ups were primarily owned by women...

Has the glass ceiling been paved over with concrete?

I was attending a women in business conference last year when someone began to present ‘the business case for women in the workplace’. I was actively listening but my mind was wondering – I couldn’t stop thinking, if they were here today - on hearing this, what would the Suffragettes do?

Why business needs more reckless women to truly flourish

Today’s guest blog looks at the way in which young women are discouraged from behaving recklessly and how ultimately this can impact negatively on their career prospects. There are, however, some fine examples who have managed to go against the grain...

Five ways for businesswomen to get the most out of their career

Last year I attended a business school reunion, having the honor of being one of three women on a panel to discuss women aspiring for leadership. My preparation for this included a lot of research, leading me to discover that an incredible amount of people, including myself, just aren’t aware of the statistics of gender inequality facing women in the workplace...

How's your little hobby? The challenges facing today's female entrepreneurs

When setting up my business at the tender age of 25 I expected to come across some tough challenges. Not understanding my VAT from my FOB and having most of my business nous exacted from a dusty A-level tome, I certainly wasn’t an obvious candidate for the role of the next Richard Branson...

How to solve a problem like diversity in business

Over 120 years after New Zealand led the world in granting women the right to vote, there is still a lack of agreement as to how we can encourage more women to take part in managing businesses, or if we should even be doing so in the first place...

The power of community: why women in STEM careers need more support

As a male entrepreneur, I’m often asked: what support is out there for women who want to start their own business? When answering this, I feel it’s important for us to take a look at the power of community, especially in fields such as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics...

Five ways for women to build a powerful network

Networking is well established as an important part of career progression and there is a mass of advice on what to do and what to avoid. Unfortunately, there is also a body of evidence that points to men being better at it than women...

The changing face of entrepreneurship - are women leaving men in their wake?

Entrepreneurship is being heralded as the saviour of the world’s economies, being hailed as the solution to problems such as youth unemployment. Legislation is rapidly being drafted to force institutions - like banks - to increase lending to SMEs. And, if the rhetoric is to be believed, achieving that work/life balance is the cherry on the top... But if it is so easy, then why isn’t everyone an entrepreneur?

How to be a businesswoman

Sorry about what Catherine said, she’s inexperienced in her role.  You don’t have any gravitas. You don’t look like a brand director.  Don’t be so emotional. Pay attention to what Catherine says, not how she looks. Catherine’s our resident expert, let’s see what she thinks. We want to put more departments in under you as we know you’ll make them successful. You’d make a great CEO of your own business... And that’s how it went, the last 10 years of my career.

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