Women are better managers of money than their male business counterparts, better prepared in business and prefer to work for themselves, according to research released today by Westpac.
Women are extremely effective and working in small business really suits them, but if they haven’t started their business by the time they’re 45, they’re unlikely to give up their ‘day job.’ The Westpac research also shows women are better equipped to manage a crisis or emergency. They have also had a more varied working life and fully research their proposed business venture before starting out.
“What we’d say to women is ‘back yourself’. You’ve done the research, you’re prepared for any emergency and have a variety of experience in business – have a go, you aren’t in this alone,” Larke Riemer, Head of Westpac’s Women’s Markets, said.
According to Australian Women in Business – New Insights, commissioned by Westpac and conducted by research agency TNS, women are much more likely to have worked in a different industry and this suggests they are prepared to give new things a try and have a higher level of flexibility. But they do worry about the unknown.
“Women in small business plan more effectively and focus on the long term, as well as short term planning – and this goes back to their higher levels of concern about the unknown,” Ms Riemer said. “But that’s got its upside. It means that women are better prepared for emergencies and have some form of financial ‘back-up plan’. They manage their cash flow more closely and they don’t need to use their back-up as often as men.”
Women start their business younger – with more than half the number of women in small business starting their company when they were under 35. Two thirds of women in small business would not consider returning to a larger corporation compared with 42 per cent of men.
This is Westpac’s second survey and confirms that cash flow is still a major issue for small businesses generally.
“This year staffing has emerged as a key issue for small businesses and managing the work/life balance is perceived to be a challenge by a higher proportion of women,” Ms Riemer said.