Cherie Blair presents her Four Cs for female entrepreneurs
Women must be able to access four key resources on their way to becoming business leaders, says the noted QC
In the work that she has carried out for her Foundation for Women, Cherie Blair has acquired a unique perspective on the challenges that face female entrepreneurs – especially the things that are holding women back from success in business. Here, she identifies four main resources that women must be able to access in order to make the best of their professional lives, particularly if they are aiming to launch their own companies and become the esteemed managers of tomorrow.
“What women need is capacity building. That’s very important in the work you do, the work women in management do, whether it’s that sort of training. We’re giving English, business and IT training to women with small businesses: how to write a business plan, how to manage your finances, what do you do when you employ other people.”
“Women entrepreneurs have difficulty in access to capital… That can be because in some parts of the world the banks still insist on collateral through some form of property. We kind of take it for granted that a husband and wife will jointly share their home, the ownership of their home; that is not the case in many countries. In Africa, 70% of agriculture is done by women, but they own only 2% of the land.”
“Remember the statistic about the job description with the 10 skills that are required, and a women saying, ‘Oh my God, I only do nine of those so I shouldn’t possibly apply.’ The man says, ‘I can do six. So obviously I’m the best candidate for the job.’”
“That’s when women give up their careers and stay at home for a while to look after their children. They can be working as a physiotherapist or radiologist in the NHS, for example, but they can’t continue with those careers so they work in Marks & Spencer or another retailer that offers flexible shifts.”