In Switzerland, there are 51 women entrepreneurs for every 100 women in leadership positions. For every 100 men in management, there are only 40 entrepreneurs. Are you irritated by this surplus of self-employed women? Well, for your peace of mind, 39 out of 100 entrepreneurs are women and 61 are men.
For women, entrepreneurship is a highly attractive alternative to a career as an employed manager, according to the obvious interpretation from the structural data of an HSG study. This should give the Swiss economy something to think about, because it is not the hearth in the home but independence that will make female talents disappear, talents that are economically creative and self-reliant. These are qualities that would be in demand on the management floors of larger companies. Especially in times of a shortage of specialists and managers. Theoretically at least. Deep inside all of us are programmed images of how women and men are – or better: what they have to be.
Stereotypes that are automatically conceded to the male sex and just as naturally denied to the female gender are creative and self-reliant. We have all learned this over generations and tell each other stories about these supposed “gender roles” back to the Stone Age.
A man goes hunting, a woman protects her family and collects berries and roots in the immediate vicinity.
Thus we define and reconstruct again and again the man as absent breadwinner and the woman as omnipresent incubator of family. And then this:
In the grave of honour of the Viking warriors lies a woman armed to the teeth.
Source: National Geographic.
But away from diversity and back to monoculture: on the executive floors of the largest Swiss companies, only seven percent still have influence from women – last year it was eight percent. And 59% of the largest companies have no women at all on their boards. Is it permissible to push the private sector to success because of public interest in the welfare of the country and to introduce legal targets for mixing up management? Yes, you may, because: what is the opposite of diversity? Exactly: simplicity – and that is really dangerous.