Wednesday, 14 February 2007

Men Vs. Women Entrepreneurs: The Men Apparently Are More *co*&gh* *gag* Emotional

Accroding to Bat Batjargal (hat tip to Ben Casnocha via Jenny Slade), a lecturer at Harvard, men are more emotional than women entreprenuers. He says:

“Women have larger social networks for advice and resources. But men, surprisingly, have larger "emotional" networks - the complex of associations that provide warmth, praise, and encouragement. And men apparently profit more from these emotional attachments than women do.

"This is probably the most surprising, counterintuitive finding of this research," said Batjargal. "Men can be very emotional, and they use these emotional ties better than women do."

Now lets think about this for a minute. You are a female entrepreneur. Let's say in Tech. There are how many of you out there? And it's a pretty male dominated world. Most of the VCs are male. Haven't connected with one Angel female to speak of yet. The one woman who I did connect with early on for funding opportunities was a dismissive, 'i got five seconds for you to tell me why i should care even though I am on panels all the time talking about women supporting each other in business'.

Our biggest challenge is to been seen as smart, as driven and to be taken seriously. We don’t want to be perceived as weak, as needy and too emotional to make the difficult business trek that is being an entrepreneur.

Ironically, Batjargal speculated that "women network for the sake of relationships, and men for utility."

Maybe as women we do need to rethink our networks, how we build them, how we develop them and how we use them. But I think it’s less as one person concluded that "women need to learn how to network like men" and more that women need to learn how to network like women.

*update: i blog cheated (is that allowed?) and re-edited the post. See, I am such a chick!


Susan Kitchens said...

Good point about interpreting the findings, and making changes as women for women.... Lest the implications from this study be yet another way where one must squeeze into mold (defined as male).

Leigh said...

Molds are for jello!

It's intersting to also note that the National Centre for Women in Information Technology did a study supported by the Kauffman Foundation that found,

"Women’s self image seldom includes entrepreneurship"

If this is true, it stands to reason that how we develop in the world of entreprenuership would likely HAVE to be different.

Recruiting Animal said...

Leigh, when I read comments like yours I think I must be living in a different world than most other people because I don't meet so many overconfident guys and insecure babes in the woods.

And I have to ask myself, did someone just make this stuff up?

Leigh said...

Hey recruiting - yeah i think my boyz entitlement comment skewed the point of what i was trying to make which is that for many women the learning curve is steeper and we have to build up our sense of confidence in what we do. I do think its a generational thing and is changing for the better.

women entrepreneurs said...

Very interesting. I guess it makes sense. Women entrepreneurs have much larger networks and have friends available in emotional times, so they keep emotions out of the work place.

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