How Men Can Help in Empowering Women Entrepreneurship and Franchising
Women Entrepreneurship in India
In the choking patriarchal society where women has to go through a lot to breath freely, women entrepreneurship comes like a breath of fresh air. More and more women prefer to be engaged in an entrepreneurial opportunity so that they can walk shoulder-to-shoulder with their male counterparts as equals.
Despite the rosy picture that women entrepreneurship presents to us, the other side of the picture remains blurry – gender stereotypes are still making it difficult for women to juggle the responsibilities of their home and work. However, an equal contribution of men is essential to empower women entrepreneurship in lot many ways. As UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson presented her campaign at a special event, ‘HeforShe’ is what we need to push this women empowerment furthermore, even when it comes to encouraging women entrepreneurship.
While the world is celebrating International Men’s Day Week, let’s take a closer look at how men can contribute in empowering women entrepreneurship and franchising and in making the world fairer for both the genders.
Men’s Role as a Supportive family
In the process of empowerment, entrepreneurship not only brings in remarkable changes in a woman’s life, but in the lives of all the men associated with her too. In a society where women are not allowed to take their life-decisions on their own – where their fathers and husbands are the caretakers of their lives – a woman who aspires to become an entrepreneur possesses the ability to shake the roots of patriarchy.
As gender disparities assign gender roles to women and men, it gets embedded in the psyche that a woman is responsible for taking care of her family while a man is the bread-earner. So, when a woman actually steps out to earn the bread on her own, she has to give up on her responsibilities to an extent that she could focus on achieving her goals. Eventually, it creates difference in the lives of their male counterparts too.
But these days, there are so many cases where males are supportive of their mothers, wives and daughters and they think about pushing them towards their entrepreneurial dreams, which create a lot more difference in the lives of aspiring women entrepreneurs. As a supportive family, men are creating a different pathway for the growth of women entrepreneurs.
According to a study, it has been revealed that the men who share family responsibilities and spend more time with their children are happier at work. Many women entrepreneurs have also stated that they were blessed to have supportive husbands, which also encouraged them to start their independent ventures.
In a recently conducted research by Titan and Dynata in which, men were assessed on their lifestyle, work-environment, un-gendering and relationships. The research reveals how men have evolved to deny playing the stereotypical gender roles and are contributing towards making a more inclusive society. Helping in day to day activities and taking care of children are key aspects wherein men share responsibilities. However, men can somewhat lower than women. Here is the excerpt from the report.
Men’s Role in Providing a Supportive Workplace
Only a 14% of Indian women are engaged in an entrepreneurial venture, which means it’s the men who still dominate the corporate world. Here comes another opportunity for men in contributing their share to empower women entrepreneurship.
In a male-dominated organisation, many a time, the voices of women are oppressed. This oppression can be in any form, be it in the form of unheard voices in a boardroom, giving lesser credit for sharing ideas, instances of sexual harassment, or overall influence. In such scenario, it becomes imperative for the males of the organisation to create a positive environment that reflects the gender equality for both the genders.
#LeanInTogether, a campaign launched by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, recognises that while women can definitely take steps to move up in the corporate world, they cannot do it without the support of the other counterparts. This outlook is an important aspect when it comes to men’s support in an organisation. The campaign suggests that men in organisation could encourage other men to make sure women’s voices are heard, and ensure that they are less interrupted, and given more credits for their ideas.
These are important things to empower women entrepreneurship as all of these could boost the confidence that many women might be lacking. By being encouraged to put forward their voices, women can truly explore their potential of becoming an entrepreneur and can polish their skills to venture in entrepreneurship in the future.
Women entrepreneurship gives an important tool for empowering women as it involves access to resources and markets, actual ownership and active control, which is everything that women have been kept from. The fact that woman empowerment starts with men is what we the world needs to understand. Breaking all the patriarchal notions, all men must realise that their contribution in empowering women is immensely important. In a personal setting, they could contribute in doing so by being a supportive family while in a professional setting they could do it by uplifting and encouraging their female colleagues and employees. And that’s what it all required – respecting the rights of their colleagues, partners and daughters can not only make a difference in the outlook of women entrepreneurship but in life too.