Women in business

Gone are the days when women used to rock the cradle at home. The usual knitting of the sweaters and the endless wait of their spouses at night is history now. The territories which were once known as the stronghold of men have been raided stupendously by the so called weaker sex. With the advent of the 21st century, the business sector has seen a slew of young and dynamic female leaders changing the very fabric of the men-oriented society. Oprah Winfrey, Indra Nooyi, Chanda Kochhar etc are to name a few; women are making a huge impact on the set rules of business. The strong women laws contributed a lot towards the upliftment of women. Of late, the governments around the worlds realized that it is not good for the balance of the society to restrict women behind the facades. Education and guidance led to the development of this fresh breed of women entrepreneurs.Women out of house: a social tabooA toy at the hands of the men…..this is what women were considered previously. Empirical evidence shows that women contribute significantly to the running of family businesses mostly in the form of unpaid effort and skills. The value of this effort is underestimated both by the families that take it for granted and in academic studies. On the other hand, many of the enterprises defined as being run by women (that is, enterprises in which women hold the controlling share) are in fact run in their names by men who control operations and decision making. Programmes meant to reach women entrepreneurs can succeed only if they take note of this paradox as well as of the familial and social conditioning that reduces the confidence, independence and mobility of women. Also, Programmes for encouraging entrepreneurship among women are doomed to fail or at best to succeed partially when taken up in isolation. This is because entrepreneurship by definition implies being in control of one’s life and activities. It is precisely this independence that society has denied to women all along.How the mindset changed?Economists soon realized the importance of women’s contribution to the economy of a state. As farmers, teachers, domestic workers, machine operators, politicians, nurses, volunteers, dentists, bus drivers, mothers, carpenters, child care workers, and business owners, women have made and continue to make essential and enormous contributions to the economy. For over two decades, economists and academics have highlighted the significance of the rapid influx of large no of women in the labor market. In 2005, women’s earnings from work of all kinds averaged 70% of men’s in Latin America, while their wage incomes were 87% of men’s. From the trend of progress in closing this gap since 1990, it can be projected that equal pay for men and women ought ideally to be achieved by 2015, while women’s overall incomes should stand at 75% of men’s that year. The stats clearly indicate that the contribution of women in business cannot be undermined. In fact, it has been proved that women are better managers at home as well as at office as they have a holistic approach towards the work and the related problems.Women workforce: a statistical approach.1)      Women comprised 46.5 percent of the total U.S. labor force and are projected to account for 47 percent of the labor force in 2016.2)      The largest percentage of employed women (39 percent) worked in management, professional, and related occupations; 33 percent worked in sales and office occupations; 21 percent in service occupations; 6 percent in production, transportation, and material moving occupations; and 1 percent in natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations.3)      The largest percentage of employed Asian and white women (46 and 41 percent, respectively) worked in management, professional, and related occupations. For both black and Hispanic women, it was sales and office occupations—32 and 33 percent, respectively.The above statistics clearly show the developing contribution of the women in the economy. The clear indication of women taking an active part in the business is shown by the ever growing number of women entrepreneurs in the last decades. The next part deals with the above stated fact.Women entrepreneurs: leading by example1)      Oprah Winfrey: an American television host, producer, and philanthropist, best known for her self-titled, multi-award winning talk show, which has become the highest-rated program of its kind in history. She has been ranked the richest African American of the 20th century and beyond the greatest black philanthropist in American history, and was once the world’s only black billionaire. She is also, according to some assessments, the most influential woman in the world.2)      Indra Nooyi: chairperson and CEO of PepsiCo. A class B director of board of directors of the New York federal reserve.3)      Chanda Kochhar: Managing director of ICICI bank, India’s largest private bank.4)      Melinda gates: Wife of Bill gates and an American Philanthropist. Co-founder and co-chair of Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.The above are only to name a few. There are many women entrepreneurs who are contributing towards the development of the economy. In the coming years we are going to experience a huge influx of women in the business sector. Considering this, the age old concept of gender bias should be put into the backburner and path should be cleared for a wholesome growth.References:1)      Article “Opportunities and challenges for women in business” by Renuka Vishwananthan, link: http://www.indiatogether.org/women/business/renuka.htm2)      Statistics link: http://www.dol.gov/wb/stats/main.htm3)      www.wikipedia.com