Gender Bias

Gender Bias
Uncovering why a growing number of women are leaving the corporate workplace.
by Matt Palmquist
Title: Women Entrepreneurs: Jumping the Corporate Ship and Gaining New Wings
Authors: Nicola Patterson and Sharon Mavin
Publisher: International Small Business Journal, vol. 27, no. 2
Date Published: April 2009

Why are a growing number of women leaving the corporate workplace
Title: Women Entrepreneurs: Leaving the Corporate World and opting for Self Employment

Summary: More and more women are leaving the workplace today and starting their own businesses. Gender bias is the most significant reason why most women are leaving their jobs and opting for self employment. Most of the women who are in established careers; in middle to senior management positions are the ones taking this step. As a result of this, companies face significant rise in organizational costs when they lose key talent. Increased employee turnover leads to loss of valuable talent which in turn could have a detrimental impact on a corporation??™s standing in the market.
Some Facts and Figures that support the article-
??? Recent reports from the National Women??™s Business Council (NWBC) indicate that America??™s entrepreneurial women are working hard and smart. On an average 400 women-owned businesses were started every day between the late 1990??™s and early 2000??™s, today there are more than 10.0 million private businesses owned by women.
??? According to Cheskin Research, women are starting businesses at twice the rate of men and have become a major force in both the traditional and the e-business marketplace. The Center for Womens Business Research estimates that, as of 2002, there are 6.2 million women-owned businesses, employing 9.2 million workers and generating $1.15 trillion in annual revenue.
So why is this discrimination still haunting women in the 21st century
Women are subjected to Gender Bias and have had to face issues such as, unequal pay as compared to men in equal positions, cap on promotions, stereo typed positions being offered to women, recruitment discriminations, sexual harassment, the list goes on. In short women were given the short end of the stick. As a result an increasing number of women are leaving successful careers in Corporate America and starting their own business.
This forces one to think, is Corporate America deliberately pushing out its most wanted talent Despite the progress, challenges and a most welcome diversity, brought by the presence of women in the work place, many organizations still treat their women as second-class citizens. They take women workers for granted and do not take them seriously.

Nobody knows this better than Kay Koplovitz, who founded USA Networks and ran it for 21 years. In 1997, USA Networks became a bargaining chip in an unpleasant lawsuit between Viacom and MCA, and was sold for $4.5 billion. Since Koplovitz had no equity in the company, not a dime of the sale proceeds came her way. “Hell, when I started out in cable in the early 70s, it wasnt just male-dominated. It was male,” she says. “The boys had always treated me cordially, had always lavished praise on my performance. But they had never, not even remotely, been ready to make room for me as a co-owner.” (Excerpt taken from the internet site mentioned above)
As a result of this the corporations suffered by losing their valuable talents as women walked out the door. The corporations failed to realize that really walked out was the potential and the gains that those women would have brought to the corporates. Women have sent a strong message to the corporate leaders that they are no longer willing to take this treatment and unless the corporates do not clean up their act, they will be the losers in the long run.
How can a woman avoid discrimination in the work environment and receive equal rights What do they have to do to make this happen
Many corporations do not realize that contributions from women employees are critical for growth. The men in high places are of the opinion that women will not have any positive impact on business. Corporations which have the foresight to focus and invest into training women, make a difference and are most likely to experience a faster growth rate . They need to nurture them; particularly the women employees who are in the middle management positions and are showing promise of career development.
Women in high positions should get together and start a society to help those women against whom injustice has been done by any one or any organization. They should bring about awareness of any discrimination against women to the notice of authorities and force them to take action against the perpetrators, the list is endless. Lily Ledbetter sets a good example of a woman who is not afraid to stand for rights if equality.
Conclusion: Increase in the number of women entrepreneurs is not just a trend, it is for real. The rise in number of female entrepreneurship is not only doing good for the morale of women in general ??“ it is also good for the economic situation of the country. Leading corporations could lose out if they do not mend their ways and recognize the importance of women in the work place and take action to use their entrepreneurial abilities to the advantage of their organization.