In today’s highly competitive entrepreneurial market, the gender disbalance is still starkly evident. While more and more women are stepping out of their professional journeys and stepping into a business venture, the success and support they find remains highly disproportionate. A new finding suggests that owing to the skewed dynamics of perception, this can, in part, be attributed to women entrepreneurs’ struggles with ‘bragging.’
Self-Promotion Gap was a study of women’s fears of self-promotion, commissioned by Mighty Forces, Southpaw Insights, Upstream Analysis, and Grey Horse Communications. Following the sixth edition of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, it showed that as much as 69% of women downplay or avoid talking about their achievements, despite a majority of them (83%) being inspired by those of other women.
This gap seems to grow even wider with age, with older women being 20% more likely to attempt to blend in with others, than highlight their strengths and successes. This is particularly worrisome, as it indicates that experienced women, who have advanced greatly in their careers, and possibly have countless achievements, are least likely to want to discuss them.
In the field of entrepreneurship, this can be a death knell for women, as most early-stage investors make their decisions based on the founder, rather than the idea or the product. Hence, the more flamboyant and impressive a founder is, the higher their chances to secure more funding. As a result, most male-owned businesses continue to receive 23 times more VC funding than the national average, despite 1.5 times more women-led businesses being established today.
However, the silver lining to this is that the trend is gradually starting to shift, especially when it comes to younger women, in the bracket of 18-34 years of age. The survey states that these women are 34% more likely to be comfortable speaking about their achievements and wanting to stand out, as compared to older women (17%).
Research also shows that both men and women enjoy hearing women speak about their achievements, with 57% of men older than 55 years of age being inspired by women who stand up for themselves. The same is true for 47% of older women, 42% of younger men, and 41% of younger women.
This presents a comparatively brighter future for the latest generation of women entrepreneurs, who are gradually but steadily rising above the set standards and reclaiming their space in the global business world.