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Command Your Own Ship

 It’s been nearly a hundred years since the women’s movement made its debut. Women in business and women-owned businesses have reaped the benefits of all the programs, organizations and memberships

that have been established to set traditional social and cultural orientations into a tail-spin.

Institutions such as World Bank have begun to recognize that the best way to improve the world’s economy is to pour the monies, assistance and mentoring into women based projects. We are learning that an educated woman, a woman with resources, whether financial or a combination of whit, savoir-faire, encouragement and resources, will overcome all roadblocks to provide improvements in the health of their children as well as in household income and general living standards. Those beneficial effects are less evident when the money goes directly to men.

I find it uncanny that we separate men and women, teaching them two different social ideations and then require companionship, marriage and business relationships on equal terms. It is a constant to point out the differences; men are from Mars and women are from Venus. The statistics continue to whiz across my screen like bright bands of failure and boggle the very core of my reason to be a woman.

The following compendium of analyses adds to the fetor and degradation of every successful woman:
‘Women comprise between 10 and 15 percent of the online population.’ More women could be online if they processed the cultural and social orientations they have been raised to believe. Women wear their submissive attitude like an ill fitted suit. The stagnation this promulgates is akin to the cesspool created when women feel the need to fit ‘usefulness’ into their vestibule of honor-and-obey submissiveness. I’m prompted to remember that age old colloquialism that a woman’s worth is equal to her usefulness!

The stigma regarding the cultural and social orientations related to female inferiority is slowly spiraling to its death. Yet, here are a few more hurdles to be overcome:

Interesting facts:
On average, women’s salaries are 40% lower than men’s, leaving women with less disposable income for computers, modems, software, on-line services and any additional phone charges. Female programmers earn about 70% of their male counterparts’ wages, compared to women in other occupations, who earn about 62% as much as their male counterparts do. However, women in highly-paid and specialized computing jobs (including management) earn less relative to men than those in lower-paid positions.

Additional deterrents to on-line participation may be attributed to women’s roles in society. While more women are in the workplace, they often are still primary caretakers for their children, and in a majority of households, women bear the brunt of household chores. Women may find they have less free time to learn to navigate on-line systems.

A study showed that both men and women who were shown a document rated it higher when the author’s name was male then when the author’s name was female, even when the same paper was used in both instances. According to an IEEE publication, in the professional world, such assumptions based on gender translate to pay gaps that only continue to increase at higher levels of experience.

In technical fields, both men — and women themselves– often assume that women do not perform as well as men. Women are then less likely to take on projects which may either prove their ability or provide additional expertise, because they don’t feel qualified.

All these statistics perpetuate that women are more needy in the workplace, at home, or out of their shells. Continually applying your energies toward bonding over shared successful experiences, making useful contacts, (male and female), and swapping business strategies is the key to better attitudes toward women in business!

For nearly a decade now, the number of women-owned businesses has risen dramatically. Successful women in corporations, women owned businesses and computer technologies are rising fast!

Women in computer related businesses have increased their participation as software and system interface designers. Many women owned businesses are small businesses operated from the home. The US National Foundation of Women Business Owners stated that women-owned businesses show a greater tendency than all businesses to be stable and the 7.95 million women business owners in the United States now employ more people than the US Fortune 500 companies do worldwide!  Forming your own business provides greater work satisfaction, increased responsibility, and more freedom.

Some more interesting statistics:

Women make up 35% of the global workforce yet hold just 24% of senior management jobs worldwide. Locally, they do somewhat better, holding down 28% of senior management positions. Yet the gender pay gap shows women earn 28% less than men in South Africa – this compares to 16% in Europe and 19% in the US. On average, women would need to work an extra 59 days a year to match their male counterparts salaries.

In politics South African women do extremely well – we sit in 8th place in the global league table of female representation in government with 42% of our parliamentary seats being occupied by women. Borat would be surprised that, at 24% representation, Kazakhstan’s parliament is far more female-friendly than the US (17.7%) which is often touted as a bastion of democracy.

The infographic also shows the type of jobs women are more inclined to apply for – 57% of all marketing job applications on CareerJunction, one of the country’s largest job portals come from women. By contrast, just 30% of IT job applications are from the fairer sex.

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