Nov 9, 2010
Entrepreneurship: Where are the women?
THIS year's Enterprise 50 Award winners offered a startling omission, especially for a nation that prides itself on meritocracy: The chiefs of the winning companies were overwhelmingly male.
It cannot be because women lack the capability, particularly when they hold some of the top positions in multinational companies, public-listed firms and statutory boards.
Could the additional demands required by entrepreneurship extend beyond management and administrative skills?
Demands like the single-minded dedication required in building a business at the expense of time and the company of friends and loved ones?
Do women lack creativity and enterprise, or is it harder, if not impossible, for them to brave adversity and failure in the pursuit of their dreams?
Perhaps our society is not conducive to raising women entrepreneurs. For instance, women, rather than men, sacrifice their careers to stay at home and raise children.
Or does the perennial Asian cultural stereotype regarding gender roles still reign: that men bring home the bacon and will not allow their wives to sacrifice time with the family to pursue their business dreams?
I hope I am wrong because I certainly would like to see women featured in next year's Enterprise 50 Awards.
Lau Chee Kin