Are there really no women who are Entrepreneurs? Or perhaps there just aren’t any women who are Entrepreneurs who’ve said or done anything significant to make it onto the first 2 pages of Google Search Results? These are the questions I’ve been asking for a few months now.
Last year Calidascope began working with a new client in Cape Town. A company who’s focus is on small to medium size businesses. They help them make sense of their finances so they can spend more time doing what they started those businesses to do in the first place.
One of the tasks we manage for them is their Facebook page. The goal was clear and simple.
“Let’s use our Facebook platform to inspire our current and future clients”
So we agreed to feature a diverse cross section of the planet’s business people who have useful to amazing advice for small to medium sized business, and start-ups. And make sure that there’s a louder female voice in terms of the mix (our client is owned and run by 3 women).
Easy enough task, right? Wrong!
I figured that searching for “entrepreneurial quotes” or any derivative of that would be sufficient to get the diverse mix I was looking for, even if I was going to have to visit a few more sites to get the correct spread. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The result being that this fairly low maintenance Facebook page has taken more time than I think you’d require to run the Coca-Cola Facebook page (which according to Business Insider has at least once been the most Liked FB page on the planet with almost 98 million fans).
Let me try and represent the current state of gender spread with regards to Quotes of an entrepreneurial nature…
- ’50 Inspirational Entrepreneurial Quotes’ on Entrepreneur.com
Women 2 – Men 48
- ’40 Best Inspirational Quotes for Entrepreneurs’ from Inc.com
Women 8 – Men 32
- ‘Top 32 Quotes Every Entrepreneur Should Live By’ – Forbes
Women 1 – Men 31
- 1st page of 11 pages on Brainy Quotes
Women 3 (2 from Kim Kardashian) – Men 23
I could go on and on, but you get the idea.
Of course it’s not because of a shortage of business women who have something useful and interesting to say. It’s the fault of journalists and a web editor, in this case, who collected quotes without putting in the work required to get perspectives from around the planet and across genders. It isn’t good enough for me.
I’m a dad of daughters, and I find it inexcusable, at a minimum, that lists of Business Quotes are stacked with the views of men. It pushes my daughters backward when over 90% of business quote collections are by men.
However, there’s another side to this coin. Finding images to use, and finding quotes from women online are not an easy task. I abandon many a great quote because I am unable to find a good enough image to go with it. Women need to put themselves out there, far more than they are currently. More quotes and more images of themselves. It’s basic PR really. Men clearly have a head-start, but even those men who are new to the game have far more useable content than their female counterparts.
And it’s not even primarily about promoting the individual. This is about presenting the business space more accurately, where women are challenging how business has been done, and bringing some much needed change. It’s about inspiring young women who will one day enter this business landscape and helping them feel more at home in a world that forever, has been dominated by men.
Men can’t do any of this. Heck, I probably shouldn’t even be writing this post. We can only adjust, make space, be open, learn, grow up, and whine a little (and sometimes a lot).