Juana Ramirez
CEO
Grupo Sohin
/
Expert Contributor

Women Entrepreneurs Leading the Way to Equity

By Juana Ramírez | Mon, 03/28/2022 - 09:00

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the gender gap has widened and with it the inequitable conditions for women. We are the segment that suffered the most from job losses and excessive workloads, in addition to being the main victims of the increase in domestic violence. These are realities that continue to undermine the personal and professional development of millions of Mexican women.

According to INEGI figures, for every MX$100 (US$5) a man earns, women earn only MX$86, while almost 35% of adult women in the country do not have any financial product. This means that women have less purchasing power and fewer opportunities to access basic education, health and financial services.

In the case of entrepreneurship, many Mexican women have had to embark in the informal sector without support or sources of financing. And although entrepreneurship allows for growth and financial freedom, historically, the conditions for us have been and continue to be more complex. Personal, social and ecosystem factors make it an immense challenge for us to be successful entrepreneurs.

In terms of personal barriers, women entrepreneurs have a higher risk aversion and an attitude similar to the “glass ceiling” in business. In general, women ask for less investment budget and we value our company below its potential.

On the social side, the culture of care and housework is assigned to us. Many women entrepreneurs and workers have to take on domestic and childcare tasks, in addition to being the breadwinners in their homes. In Mexico, women dedicate more than 50 hours a week to this type of work. Therefore, it is not surprising that lack of time is one of the main causes of failure for many women entrepreneurs, as shown in the 2020 Entrepreneurship Radiography.

As if that were not enough, only 7 percent of investments in Latin America are given to companies led or founded by women and only one in five companies is founded by a woman. Not to mention the problems of harassment and exclusion that thousands of women entrepreneurs suffer every day.

Despite the challenges, women entrepreneurs have broken through and demonstrated the value and scope of their projects. In addition, many companies are changing their paradigm and more and more women are occupying leadership positions with exceptional results: better managed companies, improved profitability, with greater growth potential and even happier employees.

The greatest advantage of supporting an enterprise led or founded by a woman is the social impact it has on her family and her environment. Figures from the National Survey of Household Income and Expenditures (ENIGH) 2020 reveal that, unlike men, female heads of household allocate more resources to food, housing, home care and healthcare.

Thus, when an entrepreneurial woman stands out, she is sending a very important message to other women. She is telling them that it is worth betting on themselves, their projects and their dreams. She is telling them that they can succeed despite the obstacles, that they are capable of running a company and that they can aspire to the top. When an entrepreneurial woman stands out, she is telling us that success stories are also possible for us.

Photo by:   Juana Ramirez