India is a country with over a billion people. It is a country where in recent years there has been an upsurge in the number of new business ventures, start-ups, new innovative avenues for business development and growth. Yet what is surprising is that women play a marginal role in this progress.

Women entrepreneurs are a miniscule proportion of the total numbers who start their own businesses. Yes, the gender ratio is skewed in favour of men. There are social and economical factors that prevent women from taking on business responsibilities but that apart there are specific characteristics of women themselves that stop them from taking the men on in this field.

Never in the limelight

To begin with, women have been traditionally brought up to never put themselves in the limelight. They are not encouraged to talk about themselves or their achievements or their skills. And since they do not acknowledge their strengths, the world also tends to ignore them and their capabilities. So all the women out there, showcase your skills and show the world what you can accomplish in the tough world of business.

Flowing from the above, women are not aggressive or pushy by nature  because all such traits have been beaten out of them from childhood. They are taught that being assertive and forceful  and standing up for one’s rights are  un-womanly characteristic and they would be better off without them. So even in the area of business, they stay quiet and accept what is being doled out to them without making a push for what they deserve.

Plagued by self-doubt

Thanks to their upbringing most women have very little faith and belief in themselves. They perceive that they are of no value and this is reflected in their dealings with everybody around them.  They are plagued by self-doubt and are always scared of failing even when they are talented and capable. They need to believe in themselves and understand that failure is not the end of the road, they can and should get up after every fall and try again.

Given this kind of thinking women fear success because they are told that ambition and success alienate  them from family. So they stay in the background and are scared of moving up where responsibilities are greater and success more possible. They do not like moving out of their comfort zone nor do they want to do anything that will take time and energy away from their home and family.

Men are great story-tellers

Men are great story-tellers. Women are not. They do not have much faith in the ability of stories and anecdotes to connect with their audience. But men know that little fables and tales make  it easier to understand the truth, it throws light on their mind-set and approach to things. It creates trust and belief. Women will benefit if they also incorporate this effective way of interacting with their listeners.

It is not easy breaking out of a mind-set that has been ingrained since childhood but that effort has to be made. Women are as capable and skilled if not more so as compared to men. They should not  let all the talent and expertise and competence go waste. They need to tighten their belts and compete with men as equals in the field of business and entrepreneurship.