Why Women Almost Always Do Better in Business Than Men

The Washington Post has a great article today that explores the reasons why empowering women eliminates the cycle of poverty, particularly in post-conflict Rwanda. It’s hard to imagine the lives Rwandan women have lead, hard to relate to a circumstance where you have no rights, no standing, and no physical power to protect yourself. So why now, with just the slightest assistance, are these amazing women beating out their male counterparts in business? Easy – they’re women.

Women Must Master Technique

When I learned to windsurf, instructors told me women always learned faster than men. Because we cannot rely on our physical strength alone, we are better at mastering technique. Turns out the same may be true in business:

As both female and male survivors sought to rebuild coffee plantations with financial and technical assistance from international organizations, Maraba’s women, most trying their hands at the business of farming for the first time, were by far the faster students. They showed more willingness than men, officials here said, to embrace new techniques aimed at improving quality and profit

The ability to innovate is what’s put Rwandan women ahead of their brothers and fathers in business.

Women Must Feed Children

Women more than men invest profits in the family, renovate homes, improve nutrition, increase savings rates and spend on children’s education, officials here said.

Once you’ve borne a child, it’s instinct to do whatever it takes to keep that child alive. This includes providing food, shelter and creating a safety net for the future. Building families in turn builds up a society, which creates more opportunity and eventually increased prosperity. Because women naturally do these activities, giving them legal rights to own property and compete with men in business builds up the community.

Women Must Persevere

Women have got to stick it out. There is no alternative for our survival and remember, it’s all business. Women must transcend unthinkable realities.

She watched as her husband was killed by bullets, her infant son and 2-year-old daughter hacked to death by blades. She survived by pretending to be dead.

"After two days I woke up," Nyirabaganwa, 39, said. "Birds were eating my dead children. This was too much for me. I wanted to be killed . . . I felt as if I was dead, too. I did not want to go on."

Could you?

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Comments

  1. Karl Staib – Your Work Happiness Matters's Gravatar Comment by Karl Staib - Your Work Happiness Matters on May 17th, 2008 at 11:43 am

    Women have such unique skills that I’m constantly amazed by them on a daily basis at my job. They are innovative and communicate better than most men. I think what holds them back besides the glass ceiling is their own fear. They are afraid to take risks that put them in danger. When they can overcome this they thrive and succeed. I’ve seen it happen plenty of times, but I would like to see it more often.

  2. Paul's Gravatar Comment by Paul on May 21st, 2008 at 4:40 am

    I really don’t understand this article Lela. It makes a bold headline statement and then doesn’t go on to prove anything.

    In the section Women Must Master Technique you make a huge jump from you mastering windsurfing to women being better in business.

    These types of articles where you cherry pick a few nice juicy statements from an article only serve to expose how shallow an article you’ve written. The Washington Post article is three pages long and talks about the 800,000 people killed in Rwanda (the vast majority males). You don’t mention that at all which makes me believe you don’t see it as relevant. Is there not something in the fact that almost 800,000 menu, brothers and fathers were murdered as to why women are triumphing while rebuilding the country?

    There is an lot more behind the rise of women in Rwanda than the fact that they are just simply ‘better than men’. Your article doesn’t tackle that.

    If we want to have a battle of the sexes I think you’ll find that there are a huge number of successful businessmen in the world than businesswomen.

    Very poor article. Why did you bother?

  3. Altari's Gravatar Comment by Altari on May 22nd, 2008 at 7:41 am

    Awesome article. The social evolution of female society and how we learned to adapt to changing circumstances if very often ignored.

  4. s's Gravatar Comment by s on July 12th, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    sexist much? this can go both ways…

  5. s's Gravatar Comment by s on July 12th, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    o and when people receive more assistance than others, they will probably do better. there are alot of benefactors, most of which are men, so give me a break: gandhi, bill gates, and much more… so please give each sex an equal opportunity instead of being sexist and helping out women with women-only organizations… if this went the other way, then people would be calling the author sexist and will prob remove article out of website.

  6. jack's Gravatar Comment by jack on April 17th, 2011 at 10:51 am

    Paul you nailed it bro! women just think thy’re better because they dont understand how dificult it is being a male these days…women this and women that im so sick of it!

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