Evgenia Brodskaya: “Say: ‘Business is for me!’”
Women@google expert at the EWF speaks about the recipe for overcoming uncertainty for future women entrepreneurs
In addition to the problems of access to information, education, and financial barriers to creating their own entrepreneurial projects, Russian women still face the public stereotypes, according to which business is represented by the male world. However, special training can help to eliminate some of the psychological complexes. Leader of the women@google initiative in Central and Eastern Europe Evgenia Brodskaya made this statement during the open discussion ‘Programs and Institutions for the Development of Women’s Entrepreneurship’, which was held on the opening day of the second Eurasian Women's Forum.
“Who is more often an expert in matters of entrepreneurship, who is on the stage and on the screen? When there are only men on the stage of entrepreneurship, women reach a subconscious conclusion: ‘I can’t be successful at this,’” she said. This is why we need to keep an eye on the balance between men and women in business.
One solution may also be to pull women out of the shadows: invite them as high-profile speakers because they rarely declare themselves as such although they often are.
The second useful tool for overcoming women's fears when setting up a small business, according to Brodskaya, is to attract the attention of the female audience to new educational opportunities.
We need to promote educational programmes and position them specifically as women’s programmes in order to create confidence in the target audience: “This is what I like. This is for me.”
In digital technologies, there are already a huge number of educational resources online: video courses, conferences, and training programmes. Several major technology companies invest in training resources. For example, Google together with the OPORA RUSSIA Committee for the Development of Women's Entrepreneurship has developed the Women Digital Academy programme, in which real women entrepreneurs share their experience on a wide range of issues in a series of webinars.
Brodskaya said another component that women can use to overcome obstacles in creating their own business is to develop self-confidence and the ability to derive a formula for success and speak it openly.
Society has got accustomed to the line: “My work will speak for itself.” This prevents women from developing and advancing in all areas of self-realization.
Google removes this barrier using the #iamremarkable programme. “We are holding seminars, where women can flex their muscles when talking about their achievements. Then we provide these seminars to corporations and public organizations for free as training programmes,” Brodskaya said.
Women can take the first step towards an entrepreneurial education right now, according to her. To do so, any woman can register with the Women Digital Academy on the website of the OPORA RUSSIA Women’s Committee and subscribe to the YouTube Women Digital Academy Rus as part of the women@google initiative. In addition, the Remarkable training session at the Women Who Matter conference in November will help women master the skill of telling the audience about their achievements.
Tina Stankevich, Maria Kotlyarova, Eurasian Women's Community Information Agency