Why Women In Business?
Why women in business?
Difficulties, opportunities, and advantages
According to the 2020 UN census, 49.6% of the world population, or almost half, are women. According to the same source, in the case of Georgia, women make up 52.3% of the population. Empowering women economically and increasing their involvement in the business is one of the top global priorities of the past and present century because women entrepreneurs can significantly contribute to the country’s economic development. It is recognized by the United Nations Economic and Social Council and other important organizations that no real progress can be made unless women and men are equally involved in economic processes.
From the second half of the twentieth century onwards, women’s economic activity increased from year to year. However, according to the World Economic Forum’s 2020 Global Gender Imbalance Report, women’s business activities in terms of participation and economic opportunities lag behind men by many parameters.
Given national-traditional, social, and cultural factors, women are much less represented in the labor market. The difference, according to a report by the World Economic Forum 2020, is as follows: 78% of adult men (15-64 years) in the world are in the labor force, while only 55% of women (same age group) are actively involved in the labor market, which means that more than 30% of the global workforce accounts for gender imbalances and, consequently, amounts to lost economic productivity and income, both for households and countries.
The Economist defines the Women’s Economic Opportunity Index based on 5 major components: Labor Policy and Practice; Access to funds; Education and vocational training; The legal and social status of women and the general business environment. These components, in turn, include more detailed measurements. Indicators measure the degree of discrimination against women – including retirement age, job type choice, bank loan, secondary education, and other forms of discrimination. Combining all these factors has a great impact on the formation of the labor market and productivity in the country. According to this index, Georgia is in 59th place among 128 countries globally with 54.5 points / 100, which is higher than the world and regional average.
Labor policy and practice
Women’s role is not discriminated against at the legislative level in Georgia – for example, there is no job that only men can hold. No law allows women and men to receive different pay for the same position under official internal regulations. However, the practice is quite different.
According to Geostat’s 2017 data, women earn, on average, 40% less than men, which is explained by the fact that most men hold managerial and, therefore, higher-paid positions. According to the World Economic Forum report, 9 major professional clusters are the least employed in the fields of information and computer technology (12%), engineering (15%), and data and artificial intelligence (26%). However, more women than men are represented in human relations and cultural areas (65%). With widespread socio-cultural dogmas, men are much more likely than women to be promoted on other equal terms.
Access to finance
Access to finance is one of the most important factors in assessing women’s economic empowerment and entrepreneurial opportunities. This component is an important prerequisite for starting and developing an entrepreneurial activity. In particular, access to finance facilitates the entry of new companies into the market, creating a competitive business environment, the demand for a new workforce, and the reduction of the unemployment rate. This factor is a significant obstacle and is a greater obstacle in the case of women.
Education and vocational training
The involvement of women in the business sector naturally stems from access to education and skills development opportunities. At the legislative level, girls and boys have the same opportunity to get an education. According to Geostat, women predominate in Georgia with higher education (women: 55%, men: 45%), while 57% of people with vocational education are women and 43% are men. Nevertheless, 43% of women in Georgia belong to the economically inactive population. More than a third of them are housewives.
This category represents a hidden resource of the country, which can significantly contribute to the development of the economy. Vocational education and training programs can play a vital role in realizing this group’s economic opportunities and their capacities to engage in entrepreneurship.
Business environment and business start-up opportunities
Georgia’s business environment is quite favorable for starting and developing a business as there are no discriminatory norms towards women. However, access to information is often limited, which is an additional barrier. It is important to provide business advice to women entrepreneurs and increase access to relevant information.
According to the Harvard Business Review, involving women in business and entrepreneurship is essential since, in general, women are more likely to share their education, income, and resources with the public and be crucial to any country’s economic growth. Consequently, the positive encouragement and support of women’s entrepreneurship are among the most important factors for maximizing the country’s economic potential.