As we celebrate International Women’s Day, it’s important to acknowledge the challenges that women still face in the business world. Despite progress towards gender equality, only one in three entrepreneurs in the UK are female. Additionally, research shows that female-led businesses are, on average, around 25% smaller than those led by men.
However, it’s also important to recognise the potential for positive change. Research conducted by McKinsey & Co has found that companies with greater diversity in their executive teams are more likely to outperform their peers on profitability and create superior value. This highlights the importance of ensuring that women have equal opportunities and representation in leadership positions.
As a female business owner and entrepreneur, I know first-hand the dedication and challenging work required to sustain a business. I’m sharing some of the biggest lessons I’ve learnt (sometimes I’ve had to learn the hard way) that have really helped me. I hope they help any female business owners, entrepreneurs or those aspiring to be too.
• Believe in yourself: Work on your mindset and your confidence in your abilities and believe that you can achieve your dreams. Don’t let self-doubt hold you back.
• Seek out mentors: Find mentors who can offer guidance and support as you navigate the business world. Look for women who have experience in your industry and can offer advice and help you make connections.
• Build a strong network: Attend events, join groups and organisations, and connect with other women in your industry.
• Embrace failure: Failure is part of the journey to success. Don’t be afraid to take risks and learn from your mistakes.
• Prioritise self-care: Running a business can be stressful and demanding. It’s important to prioritise self-care to avoid burnout and maintain your physical and mental health.
• Advocate for yourself: Don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself and ask for what you deserve. Whether it’s negotiating a contract or asking for funding, advocating for yourself is essential to achieving your dreams and goals.
On this International Women’s Day, let us celebrate the achievements of women, but also continue to work towards a more equitable and inclusive future for all.
Lema Redjep | Founder / Head of Wellbeing / Internal Coach