Yesterday Business Leaders got together at Bentley University’s Center for Women to discuss the challenging task of advancing women in business. The Center hosts its annual forum where the overall theme is “Moving from Conversation to Action.” The core of the groups challenge is overcoming the disparity between men and women in leadership positions in the business sector. This article is an attempt to promote this type of gathering to foster more support for similar events as well as introduce ideas that should be generated at these types of gatherings.
The irony of this issue is that statistics have proven that women business leaders achieve better economic gains yet the opportunities for them to enter these positions are far and few in between. One of the problems with this type of forum is that it is intended to promote solutions to the obstacles women face by supporting women at the different stages of their careers. The disagreement here is that promoting career placement and support is different than promoting women leadership. Yes women do need this type of support, but getting to a leadership position is almost impossible or at best years and years in the making with no actual guarantee.
Qualified women need to get into a leadership position from the outset and get the support they need at the early leadership levels. For instance, providing more business loans for women is one way that would support female entrepreneurs that want to grab a leadership position by the horns. The global leaders who command these forums could not only give their support financially, but they can also offer continued support programs for women business leaders in the form of education, resources, and contracts specifically targeting these developing businesses.
Let’s face it, it is a good idea to talk about action in place of conversation, and promote support for women in their careers, but many women navigating through their career would surely be better off launching their own business rather than climbing the ladder where men are constantly blocking their path.
If past performance is indicative of future results women are going to be successful business leaders. With that said it would be a good investment for our overall economic stability as well as society if we provided business loans for women. Whether it is a new company starting up or it is additional capital as the company expands, these types of small business loans would be the best action global leaders can take. This is the kind of platform the group should focus on at the next meeting and I believe will lead to more women business owners and leaders.