“You can tell ambitious women by the shape of our heads, they’re flat from being patted constantly”
- Dame Stephanie Shirley
Aptly put by tech entrepreneur Stephanie Shirley in her TED talk, women who strive for and achieve ambitious goals are met with condescending retorts from, you guessed it, men. There is this premonition that ambitious women have talons and razor teeth but in reality they just show up in their power suits with a desire to change things.
We all know that if ambitious women were deemed a positive thing the fragilely constructed system sought to repress us would be revealed as an age old sham. I can understand why men wouldn’t want to look ridiculous like that, but this isn’t about them. In their defence, a lot of switched on men are here for equality, unfortunately, however, a lot still aren’t and admitting women being ambitious is the future may destroy their ego entirely (oh dear). Instead they sit back and draw the conclusion that when women are successful it’s just a fluke.
The root of the problem is that as a society we perceive ambitious women with generally negative connotations. They are deemed too loud, too opinionated and too demanding. Yet if a man were to have these attributes we’d just utter the ridiculous phrase “oh that’s just men being men”. Searching the web, it is filled with the same doom and gloom, but here are some positive facts and stats that will hopefully seek to turn the negative perceptions of being ambitious into positive ones
From 1997 to 2017, the number of firms owned by women grew by 467%
In the years 2017 and 2018, women founded as many as 1,821 new businesses every day
A dollar invested in developing women’s enterprise provides a greater return on investment than a dollar invested in a male owned enterprise
Women now make up 36% of small-business owners, up from just 4.6% in 1972
Female students are twice as likely to be young entrepreneurs than male students