Women entrepreneurs face many challenges when it comes to achieving success. Apart from the obstacles any entrepreneur must overcome, unfortunately, gender biases are still in place to a large extent. Add to this the skepticism towards millennials in general, it may seem that millennial women barely have a chance to make it big. However, this may not necessarily be the case.
Sexism is Still a Problem
Most of us are probably aware of the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs. It would be unfair not to admit that there have been some improvements throughout the years. However, real change is slow to come, and business women still have a hard time attracting investors.
The pay gap can be considered another problem in the works when it comes to startups. Women may find it difficult to set aside the necessary budget to fund their businesses. While many dispute the existence of a wage gap, the truth is there are very subtle ways in which these adjusted over the years, so much so that it may be difficult to spot. For example, a female secretary may earn less than a male P.A. (personal assistant) simply because the job names are different, implying that there’s more to do, when in fact, the work itself may be the same.
Being a Millennial Makes It More Difficult
As a young entrepreneur, there’s a different set of problems to face. Ageism can be very frustrating when you want to be taken seriously. To a certain degree, this prejudice is no longer as pervasive as it once was, since there are plenty of millennial success stories out there to prove that young entrepreneurs are just as capable as seasoned business veterans.
The costs of living and getting an education are also much higher for a millennial than they were for previous generations. Young people are also facing strong competition on the job market, which makes it difficult to kick-start a career.
How to Overcome These Challenges
Dealing with these obstacles is not impossible. As a millennial woman, though some of these issues may appear frustrating, you must understand that these sort of mentalities are hard to change since they’ve become second nature for most. We all probably have certain biases, and these are no different.
Don’t Get Forced into a Niche
Millennial women entrepreneurs might find it easier to achieve success in a field that is generally seen as feminine. And there’s nothing wrong with that as long as it’s what you want. However, you shouldn’t feel yourself pushed into it. If you don’t feel your company’s vision is in tune with your perspective, then you might need to consider making a change. Otherwise, you may end up unsatisfied with your success while enforcing common stereotypes. Stay true to your principles, and keep your goals in sight at all time.
One of the best things women entrepreneurs, especially young women, can do is to form strong business relationships among themselves. This doesn’t mean they should form exclusivist clicks or feminine versions of boy’s clubs. On the contrary. As entrepreneurs, their duty towards to community is perhaps even greater, since they must focus not only on their own success, but educating others as well. This will require a great deal of patience, and you may not see the benefits as soon as you’d like, but it’s going to be worth it in the long run.
Be a Professional First
No matter what pressures you’ll have to deal with, always maintain a professional attitude. After all, in the business world, you need to be seen as a professional first and foremost. Every entrepreneur must deal with difficult people nearly on a daily basis. Successful entrepreneurs don’t let minor nuisances get to them, no matter how aggravating they are. Neither should you, not matter the extra issues you might encounter based on your age or gender.
Do not let these challenges discourage you. Achieving success is not going to be easy, but nothing important really is. Regardless of gender or age, all entrepreneurs are faced with daunting tasks. The difference between those who dreamed of making it big and those who reached their goals is that the latter persevered until they got the job done. And they didn’t stop there, they continued to grow, and looked forward to their next big challenge.
Things have begun to change, and as a young woman who’s looking to start her own business, you should take advantage of this positive thrust. Overcoming the challenges you’re faced with is going to be a powerful learning experience you should cherish.
Author: Thea Millard is a Market Data Analyst and a Contributing Editor at Job Application Review. She has a great interest in everything related to personal branding, online marketing, and entrepreneurship, and loves helping people and businesses thrive.