Taking Over Male-Dominated Industries

January 31, 2010 by Susan Gunelius
Equality

Post by Veronica Eyenga, contributing Women On Business writer

According to WomenEntrepreneur.com and The Center for Women’s Business Research, the number of woman-owned businesses is on the rise.  The biggest noticeable difference?  Not all woman-owned startups are service industry based, a trend that dominated the last decade.

That’s right.  With every new woman-owned company that pops up (in 2008, there were more than 10 million woman-owed companies), more and more are entering into male-dominated industries such as the technology and manufacturing industries.

In fact, according to the Center for Women’s Business Research, 32% of women business owners believe that being a woman in a male-dominated industry is beneficial.

Specific statistics about women in these industries is hard to come by.  However, the women in them insist that their numbers are growing; they just aren’t receiving the attention from the press.

This growing trend is extremely promising.  As we move into the second decade of the 21st century, it’s time for us to encourage our fellow woman entrepreneurs not be afraid of entering male-dominated industries.

Are you a woman entrepreneur in a male-dominated industry?  Share your advice in the comments.

Susan Gunelius

Susan Gunelius is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Women on Business. She is a 20-year veteran of the marketing field and has authored ten books about marketing, branding, and social media, including the highly popular 30-Minute Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing for Dummies, Blogging All-in-One for Dummies and Kick-ass Copywriting in 10 Easy Steps. Susan’s marketing-related content can be found on Entrepreneur.com, Forbes.com, MSNBC.com, BusinessWeek.com, and more. Susan is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She has worked in corporate marketing roles and through client relationships with AT&T, HSBC, Citibank, Intuit, The New York Times, Cox Communications, and many more large and small companies around the world. Susan also speaks about marketing, branding and social media at events around the world and is frequently interviewed by television, online, radio, and print media organizations about these topics.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Kate Putnam January 31, 2010 at 12:35 pm

Being in a male dominated industry is not that easy- at least in machinery manufacturing. Stereotyping is still strong and people are still looking for my husband or male partner. If I were not taller than most men, I would be talked down to literally as well as figuratively. The number of times I have said something only to have it ignored and then heard it repeated (without attribution) and endorsed by males is uncountable. The problem is not within my own company, and seldom from customers, but from other potential partnering companies. In 14 years, my referrals within my industry have come from another woman owned company.
The benefit to being a woman in my industry is the ability to think differently and to draw on different resource, but we are clearly not part of the “old boy” network, which is not age related.
I would not recommend being afraid to enter my industry but I would recommend having suitable expectations.
I would also recommend having a strong network of women CEOs, because it is not unique to my industry.

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