Does being a woman hold you back?

Does being a woman hold you back?

Let me ask you a very serious question. Does being a woman hold you back? I have had clients say this to me and it’s something that makes me both furious with indignation, and want to curl up in a ball of agreement, both at the same time.

Being a woman in business IS different to being a man in business, whether we like it or not. Not in terms of talent or ability – far from it! – but in terms of attitude and outlook.

Women take on the bulk of the necessary household management, which adds a whole extra level of stuff-in-our-heads before we even think about taking our businesses to the next level. Household management means the day-to-day thinking about what running a house requires, rather than the acts themselves (like cleaning or childcare).

I have a truly incredible and intuitive cleaner, so neither of us needs to do it ourselves, BUT who interviewed the cleaner? Who is here to let her in (until I remember to get a key cut for her)? And who organises paying the cleaner’s bill? The physical housework is off our individual plates, but the management of the task is still there. Firmly on my plate. Why? Well, I would imagine it’s because I am a woman and we generally feel a weight of expectation to undertake this role.

Weird, isn’t it?

I assume it’s because tasks like this have always been “women’s work” and so we have just continued to carry that outmoded mantle. And if we don’t, everything will fall apart.

But will it?

YESSSSSS!! I hear you cry.

But really, will it?

What if we started to put our businesses and our goals first and left the household management to someone else? What if we focused so hard on our business goals that we generated enough income to be able to outsource some of these tasks to a proper household manager who was paid to keep things running smoothly. Wouldn’t that be incredibly empowering?

This isn’t about bra-burning (but if that works for you then go for it!), this is about making us women aware of the extra stuff we are thinking about all the time that is actually preventing us from building the business and life we want.

Surely it must be time for us to at least recognise and acknowledge this situation, and then make it a conscious choice to either continue or change? Until we do that, female-led businesses will forever be limited to a paltry 33% (Gov.uk) of the small businesses out there.

And we are better than that!


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