It’d be great to think that, in 2019, we really do live in a land of opportunity where aspiring businesspeople of either sex can thrive as long as they have the ability and willpower. Unfortunately, however, this doesn’t always prove to be the case in practice.
Mars still sometimes seems to be ahead of Venus in the workplace, and this can evidence itself in lost income for female workers. Here are some surprising ways in which women can lose out.
Misconceptions about working mothers
It’s bad enough that women can often be perceived as mothers-in-waiting, even while not all women actually harbor the maternal urge for a child. Another misconception is that women are bound to be blighted in their leadership ability when the little one does arrive.
However, in an article for Forbes, Garnysh CEO Meeta Vengapally has hit out at the slight sexism of assuming “that a baby will automatically be more of a distraction to a woman than it will be to a man.” She notes that, for a mother, “childcare is just as available to her as it is to a man.”
Discrimination after maternity leave
Unfortunately, when returning to her usual workplace following maternity leave, a woman today could encounter more discrimination than she would have done a decade ago, one survey suggests.
One study published by the UK’s Equality and Human Rights Commission and reported by The Guardian estimated that, every year, roughly 54,000 of the country’s new mothers were losing their jobs. Similar research in 2005 identified a corresponding number almost half that tally.
Being “too pretty” for a leadership position
Is it possible for a woman to be “too good-looking” to run a company? There is anecdotal evidence in favor of this theory. While having a pretty face can open doors for a woman, they could also be unjustly deemed guilty of unsuitable behavior or not sufficiently credited for their skills and abilities.
However, any woman who has run into such issues on account of their appearance can rest assured that, as they start showing their talents, the matter of their looks will cease to so much… matter.
Senior men’s reluctance to employ junior women
The #MeToo movement has shed light on many instances of predatory male behavior towards women at work. The movement has empowered women from various industries to speak out about unacceptable behavior, and led to greater scrutiny of how men treat women at work.
However, it has been suggested that, as a result, male managers may become more reluctant to recruit women out of fear of complications.
Income lost due to illness
Compared to men, women are usually more averse to financial risk. Therefore, women could be especially attracted to starting their own business, given the relatively low cost of doing so. One Virgin article has put the average cost at under £3,000 – and the internet can be thanked for that.
Meanwhile, insurance from a broker like Be Wiser Business Insurance could help women to plug surprising gaps in their income streams.