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Why are women in Switzerland afraid to venture into self-employment?


Why are women in Switzerland afraid to venture into self-employment?

Why are women in Switzerland afraid to venture into self-employment?

Author:  Anna Mara from SwissFinTech Ladies

Why are women in Switzerland afraid to venture into self-employment?

According to the 2020/2021 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) National Report in Switzerland, just 7.2% of women are willing to engage in entrepreneurial activities.

Nevertheless, 36.1% of the companies founded in 2020 were founded by women.

Reason enough to take a closer look at why women are afraid to venture into self-employment. The reasons are very diverse. Personal experiences, societal pressures and culture are just the top terms.

Women still find themselves in traditionally shaped gender roles. They think that their primary role is to focus on their family and put professional ambitions on the back burner. As a result, many women do not even consider pursuing a career or even starting their own business.

Often women find themselves in a limbo between job and family. They don’t know how to balance the two, as self-employment requires a lot of time and personal commitment. It also requires a good business network and like-minded people, which women often lack.

Unfortunately, there are still few female role models in society.  Everyone knows names like Bill Gates, but who has heard of Deborah A. Farrington? There are still enough industries that mainly men find attractive and that are still very male-dominated. For example, the crypto sector. Women often don’t dare to enter these areas. And this insecurity that women have to face when they go into these areas does not necessarily contribute to women’s short-term self-confidence. But that is precisely what they need, because they measure themselves against other women and say to themselves: If she has done it, I can do it too. In this respect, it is a problem that can be solved by mindfulness on both sides. Self-confidence and self-awareness in every situation, attributes of emotional intelligence can make it easier for women to get started here. But men are also in demand. They can make it easier for the courageous pioneering women to get started.

Failing entrepreneurially is a big problem for women. They worry about what they will do if the business does not develop as they had promised. They are also afraid of the social pressure if they fail. This brings them back to the old thinking that certain areas of business are better left to men. Failure never feels good, but it is part of and a prerequisite for success. The fastest way to success,” Thomas Watson Sr. of IBM once said, “is to double the failure rate”. In recent years, more and more managers have adopted this viewpoint and understood what innovators have always known: that failure is a prerequisite for invention. This is also true where women have to reinvent themselves. Therefore, those women who have taken this inner step and faced these fears of failure often bring with them a high potential for innovation.

Another point is that there is still the gender pay gap in Switzerland. Women in the same job with the same education and the same performance are usually paid 1500 CHF less than their male colleagues. This means that they generally have less money available to invest.  Therefore, women are also lacking as investors who can invest in other women . Furthermore, women often have less credit available. They are simply treated worse than men when it comes to lending.

According to Pitchbook, women are generally considered creditworthy. We know from microfinance that women repay loans reliably. Therefore, they are attractive as borrowers for banks when it comes to small sums. However, the situation is different when it comes to large investment loans and venture capital. Here, women still have a harder time getting the big money, at least according to Pitchbook.

But since women are very security-conscious, this is an important factor in being able to scale the business. Lack of money therefore often leads to women giving up when they can’t raise it in a reasonable amount of time.

Ultimately, women still have too few networks, even though many networks are emerging here. But especially when it comes to starting a business, the choice of networks becomes scarce. The large personality preference profiles such as MBTI or Insight Discovery show that women’s preferences are distributed similarly to men’s, but with one exception. Women want to exchange ideas, need more contact with like-minded people because of the feeling decision, this is an important factor. They want business contacts with other women, mentors who support them financially or also mentally.

The SwissFinTech Ladies have taken exactly these points to heart. They bring women together, network them, provide them with mentors so that they gain more confidence in themselves and their possibilities. Angel investing is also a journey to oneself, a change of perspective for women, the opportunity to invest in other women, to have a cohort of female investors and to learn as a strategic investor has not yet occurred to many.

Presseportal: https://www.presseportal.ch/de/nr/100096065

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