The world of entrepreneurs is an exciting and challenging one full of unique experiences and driven by absolute passion to excel. But if you look at this wide plethora of busing entrepreneurs and successful start-ups, there is one fact that can’t escape attention. There are invariably more men vs. women entrepreneurs who are taking the risk of going ahead with new start-ups world over. Research across the world throws up some startling facts about this huge gender bias. Though men and women stand almost on an equal footing in terms of generating new ideas and developing skill sets to create a fresh business, there are invariably more men who actually make the cut in reality.
According to some recent studies conducted by professors at the Wharton University throw up some interesting result. That coupled with some similar studies point to something quite simple. Most of the studies have come to the conclusion that certain behavior traits coupled with social conditioning are what is mostly seen as the key deciding element responsible for more men taking up the role of entrepreneurs as compared to women though they are on level playing field in terms of innovation and overall ideation.
Female Humility A Limiting Factor
These scholastic endeavors go on to highlight how men vs. women entrepreneurs are more over-confident in nature. They invariably are more likely to take up the risk of going ahead with a start-up than women. Given the huge rate of failure of entrepreneurs and enterprises that fail, they consider having absolute overconfidence about one’s ability is almost one of the most important pre-requisites. It is this overconfidence or what they call the male hubris that makes it possible for them to go ahead with a stubborn confidence and even if they fail, they are almost always able to pass on the blame to someone else.
Women, on the contrary, they feel can make a more realistic assessment of their capabilities and possibilities of going ahead with a specific idea. Once they gauge the risk involved, they are also more likely to take a measured stance and perhaps even backtrack if the need is depending on the merit of the idea and its fall out. Even in the face of success, as a community, they are much less prone to take credit. Their intrinsic humility often will stop them from shifting blame around unnecessarily and take too much credit for their success. According to the experts, overconfidence is one of the biggest predictors of identifying those who want to be entrepreneurs.
Rational Sense vs. Rash Judgment
It is perhaps the intrinsic arrogance or humility that goes on to dictate another key career attribute. The studies conducted thus far also goes on to show women who were looking at crowd funding; their ideas are far more prone to give up their efforts if they don’t meet with the desired outcome at the very behest. Being more realistic in nature and more accepting in terms of identifying their own problem areas, they would normally take a cue from a failed effort and backtrack most times. Women, as a rule, are less encouraged by success and easily discouraged by failure. The report further adds that being rationale surely helps them as individuals as they are less likely to take up options or ideas that are sure t be doomed but surely in terms of the female group, it hurts their interest.
Men vs. women entrepreneurs are stubborn in many senses. Even when their ideas do not meet with the desired response when they go to the market looking at suitable funding, they would be more prone to give it a second try. They are more rigid about the assumptions that they make about their ideas and their own abilities and like to stick to that with greater conviction even when failure stares them in the face many times. It is their arrogant conviction about their capability that often gets the better of them. This primary psychological characteristic is considered to be the greatest factor in dictating the gender bias as is apparent in the world of entrepreneurship. The author of the report on the study conducted by Wharton even likens this situation to the divide as seen in the case of lottery wins where men more than women seem to make the cut and try their luck.
Birds of Feather Flock Together
Another key fact is that the common human tendency is that people like people who resemble them in habits, thoughts and conviction. Perhaps in the world of entrepreneurship, this divide is apparent very distinct. By their very nature, the kind of business that men vs women entrepreneurs prefer is very different. Women by nature are more homebound and often look at starting businesses from home. Loans and VCs are hard to find in these settings. Another basic factor that might be hard to digest is that more Venture Capital Funds are headed by men and in general prefer ideas floated by men to back it up. Perhaps it is for this reason; you have more examples of women entrepreneurs going to the extent of even selling their wedding rings or working extra shifts to gather the fund required to start their business once they are convinced about the efficacy of their plan.
One fact surely comes to the forefront from the above study and discussion. Women by nature are not very aggressive risk takers and that in many ways form a major impediment in terms of them not taking up risky projects that do not have a clear success prospect. Men on the contrary, often get the advantage of their over-confidence and set out to achieve targets that have failure written on them. However, this cautious approach might help women who actually take the plunge as they are realistic and are more prone to succeed. One way to change this skewed gender bias is through increasing the number of women participating in VCs. By involvement not only in terms of name but incorporating activists who are keenly aware of the discrimination against women and take active steps to fix the situation.
Good luck 🙂