67% of businesswomen believe it’s difficult to be female in business

67% of  businesswomen believe it’s difficult to be female in business

Nearly 70% of businesswomen believe it’s difficult to be female in business and 100% said it was crucial they supported other women.

The findings, which are based on a survey of more than 200 women in business carried out by Local Enterprise Officers in Cork and Kerry, also found the single biggest challenge facing self-employed women was finding a healthy work/life balance.

The report was compiled as part of an event marking the 13th National Women’s Enterprise Day which will be held in Castlemartyr Resort Hotel in Castlemartyr next month.

It also found that 57% of those surveyed want to see more supports for sole traders.

The “Making it Happen” event, which encompasses a business Afternoon Tea and which takes place on Thursday, October 17 next, will bring a mix of experienced and successful businesswomen together to tell their personal business stories.

Speakers include Celia Holman-Lee, founder of the well-known modelling agency who built a strong brand and business over the past three decades, along with Aisling Hurley, The Business Fairy, social entrepreneur Aoibheann O’Brien and Food Cloud. A mix of Local Enterprise Office client representatives will also take place in a panel discussion.

Of those surveyed, just 50% were working in a role based on their educational qualifications with 56% saying that a strong business is based on hard work, followed by 33% who said it was built on having good employees and loyal clients.

Some 67% of respondents revealed that they felt it was difficult to be a female in business with more than 60% saying they felt like giving up on their business at some stage on their journey.

However, 100% of all who were surveyed said it was vital to support fellow women in business.

“Female entrepreneurship has been recognised as an important source of economic growth with female entrepreneurs creating new jobs for themselves and others and providing society with different solutions to management, organisation and business problems,” says Ciara McGee of the Local Enterprise Office, South Cork.

Women set up their own businesses for a number of reasons but the survey tells us that 41% set out in business as a means of finding a better work/life balance while 34% set up as a means to find financial independence.

“Regardless of what sector you are in, the event is for all women in business as we can all learn from each other and a strong business network has been proven to aid in the growth and success of a business.”

Bookings for the event can be made via the Local Enterprise Online Booking system through the Cork and Kerry offices. Tickets cost €30. For more information click here.

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