International Women’s Day
To celebrate International Women’s Day at Love Finance, we wanted to talk to our clients about their experiences working in the male-dominated industry. We also discussed their thinking that day and why we still need to champion and encourage business women.
In 2021, the percentage of women in senior management roles increased by 31% – the highest ever. However, men still occupy a huge majority of the roles mentioned.
100 Women in Finance is an organization that seeks to create a more welcoming and equitable environment in the financial sector. They proposed a 30% senior investment role by 2040 and a Vision 30/40 campaign to recruit women to executive committee positions.
The experience of our clients
One of our long-term clients, Ann Herberts, director of MGG Scaffolding, has worked in the construction industry for over 30 years. Construction is a largely male-dominated industry, with only 13% of the female workforce.
“Our clients take us seriously. They have earned me a lot of respect. I sail a tough ship. “
Before entering the construction world, Ann worked as a hairdresser, primarily with women. Naturally, he felt some anxiety about the idea of moving to such a male-dominated area.
“We started without anything, and it was hard; It was a different world with business women then. “
Another long-term contact from Love Finance was Leah Withers, director of Essar Scaffolding, who echoed Ann’s concerns.
“When I went to Scaffolding, I was a little worried because it meant I had to go to the National Construction College, knowing I would be the only woman there.”
However, like Anne, her suspicions were never substantiated,
“I was nervous about the possibility of seeing lots of men, but it was okay as soon as I entered.”
“I did my job. People have never treated me differently because I am a woman. They are more involved than ever. “
There are currently only six qualified female scaffolding in the UK due to the level of physical demand. Ann’s job consists primarily of clerical work, booking, training, finance, general agency; However, he is still involved in the physical aspects wherever he can.
“My daughter-in-law and I will go to the yard and take care of our equipment; We will do manual labor. We don’t just sit in the office. “
“We will do what we can for the company. You have to get stuck there. “
“Women cannot do everything, and men cannot do everything; They just have to be more discriminating with the help they render toward other people. “
Leah has worked at Esha for just over seven years. Previously, he had a painting and decoration business.
“I usually hired only women, and people liked it. There were some clients who appreciated the fact that the business was mostly for women.”
We spoke with Marian Norman, Director of Neon Concepts and Design, who specializes in the bespoke furniture, design and carpentry business across London and Hertfordshire. He owns the business with his partner, who takes manual labor while he works in design and communicates with clients.
There was an ongoing theme throughout each interview that, although no one felt directly prejudiced about being a woman, they felt that their work had to speak for itself in order to ensure that clients took them seriously.
Marian reveals that she has met with occasional apprehension,
“Clients think I’m inexperienced or I don’t know what I’m talking about, then they talk to me and they see that I know what I’m talking about.”
While progress is to be made, more young people than ever before are being encouraged to take up apprenticeships and jobs in the male-dominated industry. Companies like P&O Ferries offer schemes that encourage women and girls and allow them access to employment they may not otherwise be able to afford.
According to a 2017 report by the Young Women’s Trust, the number of men in leading sectors such as engineering is twenty-five-one more than women.
To fix this problem, we need to solve the root of the problem. Women need to be encouraged from an early age and grow up believing that they can achieve what they want. Once this happens, there should be a normal increase in the number of women in the male-dominated workplace.
As a step in this direction, the Young Women’s Trust advised to consider paying extra when hiring female apprentices to address the pay gap. They have also proposed additional measures such as targeting, training courses and adapting their language to job advertisements.
Studies have shown that about 40% of women in engineering leave the sector. We need to work along the path of our careers, provide the necessary support and encouragement for women to stay in the job.
Women and business loans
In addition, women may be concerned about applying for business funds because research has shown that they are less likely to receive it. According to Forbes, less than 1% of UK enterprise funding is given to women. We have asked our clients about the experience of applying for and receiving their funds.
“I have been using Love Finance for a variety of financial assistance over the last three years and have always received excellent services. Our company often has to meet demand with very little notice and the turnaround from profit finance has been the most effective. “
“Love Finance was extremely helpful in finding the right funding for my business. The whole process was quick and easy. I would definitely recommend them to any business.
“We have always received excellent services from Profit Finance. Responses are quick, and everyone you talk to is professional. “
Suppose more women-owned and women-led businesses find that being a woman doesn’t stop them. In that case the gender gap in certain industries can be reduced.
International Women’s Day
We asked each of our interviewers on International Women’s Day what their thoughts were. Marian said,
“It is a celebration of women in all aspects of life. It’s something to be proud of, and it’s beautiful.
“If anything, our women should celebrate more often. No matter how hard we try, women are not equal to men. If we do not celebrate, we ignore the fact that there is a difference. “
“There are two ways to look at it – we want to be women’s champions, but we have to be careful. People should be treated equally, regardless of gender. “
Although she believes that women in our business should not be viewed differently, she said that it brings a different dynamic to Asher,
“Men need to talk about things that they might not feel comfortable talking to other men about. They feel comfortable talking to me about these things. “
“There’s a stereotypical view of scaffolders and I know I’m biased, but we have a friendly environment and morale.”
And so on.
“International Women’s Day illustrates how women are emerging globally, fairly representing them. We are as good and capable as men.
“The difference is great the way things are now, unlike when I was 15 years old. Everything is open.
We are able to go into a job we never imagined before. “
He is very optimistic about the changes that are taking place in the world of work,
“I love seeing women go into business and engineering roles; You don’t have to look back that day. Women stay at home, and men go to work, where many more women are now directors, which is wonderful. I am terrified of those who do these things. “