As the push for gender equality in the workplace continues, those that make it to the top of the success ladder will often attribute their success to very different factors – according to one MYOB survey, females and males have very different ideas about how they got there.
MYOB Business Monitor research looked at what females and males attribute their success to, and found that there are common themes such as strong work ethic and product differentiation, other factors like networking and good timing show a reasonable split between the sexes.
54% of New Zealand female SME owners say their success came from networking with the right people, compared to 42% of male SME owners. 35% of females say success also came from having the right idea, compared to 26% of males who thought the same.
The survey found that females aren’t so interested in technology to help achieve business success – 24% of men believe it was a factor, while females trail behind at 15%.
According to MYOB general manager Carolyn Luey, the survey doesn’t aim to stereotype any particular sex, but instead highlights that women and men bring different perspectives and diversity to the workplace.
“There are many paths to business success – and success in business means different things to different people. However, bringing in a diversity of perspectives to help you achieve your goals – whether that’s through the staff you hire, mentors you work with or the directors you appoint to a board – could make all the difference in terms of augmenting your skills, providing new ideas or offering a different way of looking at problems or reaching a market,” she explains.
Female and male business owners acknowledge that fundamental business processes are important, such as work ethic (66% of women and 67% of men), product or service differentiation (26% of women and 23% of men).
MYOB also relates the findings to a recent Women in Tech report that shows females have work to do when it comes to embracing technology.
“In New Zealand, men are twice as likely to study ICT at a tertiary level, and almost five times more likely to study engineering and related technologies,” comments Luey.
“This may also mean women are less comfortable relying on technology to build their business – a concern when you consider how fundamental technology is to business now, and how much more-so it will be in the future.”
“Ultimately, in order for the whole country to be successful, we need to be working towards gaining every advantage we can in an increasingly globalised and competitive market. Embracing diversity is one of the areas New Zealand can gain competitive advantage, by ensuring our businesses – large and small – maximise the benefits of the broadest range of skills, experience and perspectives," Luey concludes.