Jo Caruana, Founder of content and PR company Writemeanything, notes that she has seen more and more women entering the marketplace “on an entrepreneurial level, whether in start-ups or SMEs.”
Ms Caruana, who also runs the business etiquette training company Finesse Consulta, stresses that this may be the result of increased networking opportunities and sees this as key for further progress. “I think women are very inspired by time spent together, so idea sharing should be central to future strategies on how to foster entrepreneurship,” she asserts.
“I think women are very inspired by time spent together, so idea sharing should be central to future strategies on how to foster entrepreneurship” – Jo Caruana, Founder, Writemeanything and Finesse Consulta
Despite this, Ms Caruana underlines the challenges still being faced by women who occupy roles in more traditional businesses. She points out that the “the huge majority of top-level positions in larger companies are still occupied by men,” and says that this may be symptomatic of the fact that, although “female confidence in the business world is higher than it has ever been,” certain successes are still “largely off limits.” Another reason why women may not be breaking the glass ceiling in the business world may also be due to their need for more security and flexibility, as a result of the conservative roles they have occupied for centuries, she states.
However, she also sees opportunity in these qualities since they have, in turn, encouraged part-time entrepreneurs – what she calls “kitchen table entrepreneurs” – in which small businesses are “literally run from kitchen tables.” This avenue seems to suit many mothers, allowing them to balance their practical commitments, so that “they can run their business around their existing job, child-care or other concerns.”
Yet for those in employment, flexibility must come from up top, with companies needing to give staff enough leeway to cope with the long list of personal and professional commitments required to do a good job – whether in the office or at home.
This is the philosophy upheld at Writemeanything, the founder says. “We are lucky enough to operate in an industry that can be flexible and, for the most part, our team can work the hours that suit them best in the place that suits them best. This has had knock on positives for the company too, by reducing commuting time (and thus wasted time) for the team and even bringing down our in-house costings. Of course, it can’t work for everyone and every business, but when it does it is certainly a win-win.”
Ultimately, female agency in the business world means opening a window to the diverse possibilities the market can offer, Ms Caruana continues. “Overall, I think it’s about talking more to young women about the fact that this career option is open to them by putting visible role models in place,” she stresses. And, despite the demands and challenges of opening and maintaining a business, she sees creativity and hope within the process, which is also “incredibly diverse, rewarding and – hopefully – reflective of solutions these individuals want to see in the world.”
This is an extract from an interview which initially featured in the September edition of the Commercial Courier. Those featured in the original interview are being presented on this portal as part of a mini-series on women in business. This is the final chapter in the mini-series.