Female Business Owners and Unconcsious Bias

|2/4| To celebrate International Women’s Day we’re releasing new blogs every week this month  from Kasmin Cooney (OBE) Righttrack Consultancy founder, sharing her decades of experience in equality and diversity training in the business world. 

At Surrey Business School we’re passionate about advancing female candidates with the MBA Women in Business Scholarship, covering between 10 – 50% of the total tuition fee awarded on a rolling basis. 

Social and cultural norms have created male and female archetypes where gender equality falls short. Misconceived preconceptions, compounded by unconscious bias result in stereotyping and sexism, meaning women are often held to far different standards than men.

This is noticelikableably evident with regard to female business owners and entrepreneurs. A study conducted by New Republic, where participants were asked to evaluate a mixture of entrepreneurial pitches and were told that women led some ventures and men others, proved most insightful.

They found that, when considering pitches of run-of-the-mill business ideas, participants rated women-led ones as generally less viable and less investment-worthy than those spearheaded by men. It was also discovered that participants penalised women entrepreneurs because they systematically perceived them to be less competent or skilled than their male counterparts, not because they thought they were any less committed to their venture or any less likeable.

If a truly level playing field is to ever be achieved for female business owners, it is fundamentally essential that the hurdles of Unconscious Bias, Stereotyping and Sexism must be overcome. These obstacles are still ingrained within our society if we want to see more successful women such as Jo Malone, Karren Brady, and Cath Kidston to succeed in business.

Kasmin Cooney (OBE) Righttrack Consultancy founder