In a recent article for Manufacturing.net, author Joyce M. Rosenberg examines gender discrimination faced by female business owners.
It can be subtle, like failing to make eye contact with a woman business owner but engaging in animated conversation with her male co-owner. Or more blatant, like asking an owner who’s seeking investor money if she plans to have children.
Many women business owners say they’ve encountered gender discrimination from potential investors, customers and employees who don’t grasp the reality that a woman can be a CEO, trial attorney or own a technology company. Many women are taken aback at first and don’t know how to respond to comments or behavior they find insulting, intrusive and demeaning. But over time, they find strategies to deal with bias.
Women business owners are not immune from the gender discrimination that is continually in the news — even as it’s more and more likely a customer or potential investor will find themselves speaking to a woman if they want to see the boss. The number of women-owned businesses in the U.S. has grown to more than 10 million from 5.4 million in 1997.