International Women's Day 2019
Today the government published the Rose Report into female entrepreneurship in the UK and concluded that if women started businesses at the same rate as men £250bn could be added to the UK economy.
The government announced its Investing In Women Code which includes measures to protect women from cyber flashing, which is the practice of sending unwanted images of male genitals to women online or on their phones.
“A YouGov survey last year showed 41 per cent of 18 to 36-year-old women had received such images, which they found threatening and distressing” reports the Telegraph.
High level action like today’s commitments from the government is great news. Working with female entrepreneurs who are on the front line of subtle discrimination and underfunding is what is needed to change a culture of hidden patriarchy.
More opportunities and more access to grants and low-cost loans will make a difference but will it be enough? What can women do to change their thinking about themselves, their business and their future to raise their chances of succeeding in business?
As a coach working with female entrepreneurs I tackle this question from a psychological and spiritual perspective. Using talking therapy and psychological tools we make big changes in thinking and then behaviour. Here is one of my clients reflecting on our work together.
My work with Naomi changed the way I looked at myself as a business owner. I was overwhelmed with the tasks and experiencing paralysis. Directly after the sessions, I joined forces with my business partner and landed some work experience. It was a turning point in growing the business.
Sarah, Feast and Share
As new opportunities open up to female entrepreneurs so too must new ways of seeing themselves and new mindsets for success. If the messages of hostility, male dominance or female objectification that have been lying dormant in our psyches for decades are not cleared out then new messages cannot take their place. We must do the hard work of renewing our thinking at a subconscious level if we are ever to be in a place to grasp the growth and wealth opportunities with both hands. As the old saying goes; ‘you can lead the horse to water but you can’t make her drink’. Even if a woman desires to grow her business and become an equal alongside her male colleagues if she has been conditioned to be inferior no amount of opportunity will re-condition her psyche. The change must be at all levels.