As you most likely know, there is a major gender gap in leadership roles in the workforce. In 2017, only 15.6% of Canadian businesses were owned by women, while 63.5% were owned by men and 20.9% were owned equally by men and women. Research shows that in communities where female-owned businesses thrive, the country’s GDP grows and the global economy benefits. In places where women’s entrepreneurship is restricted or limited, the opposite happens. Individuals, communities, countries and the global economy miss out on unrealized economic gains when women are underrepresented. Here are ways to help lessen the gap and support women engineers and entrepreneurs.
1 – Buy from women-owned businesses
The easiest way to show your support for women entrepreneurs is to help keep their sales booming. All you have to do is search which businesses in your region are women-owned, keep them handy in a list, and remember to prioritize them the next time you go shopping or are looking for a particular service. Chances are, some of your favourite businesses are led by women. Some examples of female-owned tech and software companies are Canva (Melanie Perkins), Cloud9Insight (Carlene Jackson), Rumarocket.com (Kathleen Yu), LaunchDarkly (Edith Harbaugh), Task Rabbit (Leah Solivan), and Re:3D (Samantha Snabes).
2 – Promote these businesses on social media
Every business needs new customers coming in regularly and a good way to get in contact with potential buyers and make new connections is through social media. Everyone has their own audience on social media that the business may not have access to, so posting the products you buy and tagging the female entrepreneurs that you support will help increase interest in their businesses. There are even existing hashtags like #NWSBM (National Women’s Small Business Month) and #BuyWomenOwned that have lots of followers which can help you get your posts noticed by an even bigger audience. Fun Fact: Both Facebook and Youtube have women in their executive positions, with Sheryl Sandberg as the COO of Facebook and Susan Wojcicki as the CEO of Youtube.
3 – Invest in women-owned companies
You’ve probably noticed that a lot of businesses are suffering due to the Covid-19 pandemic and a lack of financial support. Similarly, a lot of businesses are having trouble getting off the ground because of these economic issues, so making an investment can help give women the means to keep their business thriving. Even making a small donation and telling a few friends can amount to a big impact on these small businesses.