Being a woman means that the feeling of uncertainty as an entrepreneur in a male-dominated sector is all too familiar. As Oprah Winfrey said: “Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness.”
Any female entrepreneur should stand by this quote. Being a female means being strong, compassionate, and caring. And, women bring wisdom and empathy to the table and often see things in a way that men would never have thought of.
We spoke to Shazia Mustafa, founder of Third Door – a coworking space that boasted a flexible nursery, and she believes that being a female entrepreneur is so much more than just running a business. Especially being a working mother who has a family and home to nurture.
Shazia references a book by Mary Portas, Work Like a Woman, where Mary mentions that she had to adopt an alpha male persona and had to become an alpha woman acting like a man.
“In a way,” Shazia says “most working women feel that way, especially if they are parents or even more so for single mothers.”
That is why she created a coworking space to assist hardworking parents, especially mothers to look after their young while they are hard at work. “It gives them that extra bit of flexibility in life,” Shazia says.
Motives differ for genders
There are different motives for people to step into self-employment or to start their own business. Usually, for women, it is because of the wage gap that they experience or the lack of flexible hours.
Research done by YouGov shows that the majority of careers impacted by having children are those of women. More than half of women surveyed (51%) said that the main factor impacting their career is having to give up working either temporarily or permanently to look after their children at home. Only 13% of fathers interviewed shared the same sentiment.
As business owners, women can choose their own working hours to allow them to spend a bit more of their time on their household and their families.
Entrepreneurs can then make use of coworking spaces for a working environment, especially because most coworking spaces offer flexible hours and schedules. It also gives them the flexibility to decide in which area they will be working.
Men, for instance, may not start their own business due to these reasons. They might have a monetary interest or an aspiration for greater things. This does not mean that women don’t start their own businesses for the same reasons.
Reasons why women are better entrepreneurs
If you are doubting yourself as a female entrepreneur, here are some reasons why you shouldn’t.
According to Forbes, these are the five reasons why females are better entrepreneurs:
- Women are better calculated risk takers.
- Women are less prone to overconfidence.
- Women are more ambitious.
- Women are more likely to take the long-term view.
- Women succeed despite facing more barriers than their male counterparts.
Find a support group
In times when you start doubting yourself, it is always a good idea to turn to your community for support. When you have a support structure in place, there is nothing in this world that you cannot achieve.
Being part of a support group with similar individuals gives you the opportunity to vent your frustrations, and nine out of 10 individuals will share your sentiment.
It also helps to have connections that you can turn to when in need of more clients, or if you have prospects for them. It creates a close-knit community that allows for growth and success.
Look at making use of coworking spaces
As an entrepreneur, there is no need to make use of traditional office spaces. You are the boss and you make the rules. Making use of a coworking space allows for flexibility to make sure that you can work on your business at your own pace.
Third Door, a coworking space in London was able to offer parents the perfect environment to work and be close to their children.
Shazia wanted to create an environment where parents could leave their children during the day that was close to them, but also ensured that the people looking after their children had childcare backgrounds. She and her team wanted to offer parents peace of mind that their children were in good hands and that their education was being looked after.
She strongly believes that having a nursery close to a parents’ place of work offers more support than just staying at home or sending the child to a nursery that is far. If the nursery is adjoined to the coworking space that the parent makes use of, it allows for quick check-ins, reduces the commute so that there is more time at the beginning or end of the day with their child. It also allows parents to work without worrying about how their little one is doing, as they are always close by.
Being a female entrepreneur has a different set of challenges, and doubting yourself adds to the pressure that you might feel in a male-dominated sector. Therefore, it is best to always make use of the resources available out there to make life easier and more convenient.
Never doubt yourself as a female entrepreneur, never back down when things get tough, and remember that you are strong.