Women in a Startup?

Today's article came because of a question that we received this week. The questions specifically asked, "Are women suitable to work in a startup?"

Obviously, we were floored by this question, but it became clear to us that so many younger girls in the world have trouble believing that they can enter a “male dominated” industry and field. For this reason we reached out to a few very accomplished women.

We asked them how they got where they are and what it took to make it to the top. Minnie is a small business owner in San Francisco and said that she was able to make it to the top not because of help or handouts, but because she pulled her sleeves up and decided to work. She said when she started almost 30 years ago it wasn’t common to see a women owner, but today the trend is finally starting to happen for women.

We also spoke with Jill Griffin who is a board director of the NYSE who told us that her three proven ways for a women to be successful in business are to work twice as hard, establish yourself as an industry expert, as she did, and lastly always be the person that people want to work with by being generous and kind!

There where a few other women we reached out to, but in the interest of keeping this article manageable we’ll sum up their responses which boiled down to, “Do what you love, love what you do, work twice as hard, and never give!”

Working in a startup is a very stressful environment for men and woman both, but no one should ever say that woman are not cut out for this type of work. Working in any company should have nothing to do with your gender, yes you may be busy, but if you truly want to make the time to work in a startup there is no reason you can not join or work in a startup. Ask yourself these four questions and you can determine for yourself if you are able to work in a start-up.

  1. Do you want to work there? This is the easiest question that anyone should ever ask you. If you want to work in a startup then work in a startup. You shouldn’t have to justify yourself for any other reason than the desire to want to work there. If you are qualified and have the proper education to work at this particular startup then go for it. The only criteria that should apply to you working in a startup is if you have the resume and education that the job requires or asks for.
  2. Do you have the time? In your question, you say that you have a husband and child, and the correct response to this should be so do men. If you have a family you are like the majority of people in the world, and if you want to make the time to stay at the startup and give it your all then you should stay working there. If your boss thinks that you need to stay late and work longer hours than you should accommodate the job while accommodating yourself also. Compromise, just as men do, they stay late once in a while, but just like women have to get home to the family after a certain time. Remember a work day is eight hours and you shouldn’t have to stay longer if you don’t want to.
  3. Do you have a drive and passion for the job? This is different than wanting to be there, and this question should tell you if you really have a passion for what the startup is up to. In other words, are you there because you have a passion for the product or are you just wanting to get rich and earn a paycheck. Having a passion and drive for a job should mean that you are truly interested and putting everything you have into the job not just clocking in. If the answer to this is yes then your boss should see that you are worth more in the time that you are there than in the time that you may not stay late for. Your boss should see that you are passionate about what you are doing, and realize that you just like any other man have a family that you want to get to.
  4. Do you have the right skill set? Just like we said earlier the only thing that should matter to you working in a startup should be if you are going to have the same skill sets as any other man or women. If you are educated and have studied the proper things that have to do with this startup than your boss should not care if you have to leave at 5 pm for example.

Overall, if you are a woman and want to work in a startup your family should only factor into your equation. It should not be up to your boss to tell you if you should stay late, but if you want to stay late. If you put the passion, effort, and drive into your job than you should have no trouble working in a start-up firm. So, in a one sentence answer to your question, WOMAN are suitable to work wherever they want as long as they have the proper education and skills to fill the job. The only question that should be asked is, Is my degree or education suitable to work in this position at a startup?