The path we take to business success could be influenced by our gender, according to a new survey from leading accounting software provider MYOB.
The company’s Business Monitor research finds that female business owners attributed their success to different factors than their male counterparts.
In particular, women are more likely to rely on their relationship-building skills in developing their business, according to the survey. More than half (54 per cent) of New Zealand’s female SME owners said success came from networking with the right people, compared to 42 per cent of male SME owners.
Female business owners were also more likely to appreciate the impact of having the right idea at the right time, with more than one third (35 per cent) saying they were successful in business due to timing, while just 26 per cent of male business owners said the same.
Many of the fundamental approaches to business were the same for business owners of both sexes, with having a strong work ethic seen as the most important factor by both women (67 per cent) and men (66 per cent). Women, however, are also slightly more likely to place an emphasis on having a unique product or service (26 per cent) than men (23 per cent).
MYOB General Manager Carolyn Luey says the survey highlights that men and women do bring different perspectives to the workplace.
“Rather than taking anything away from either gender, this survey really underscores the importance of diversity in the workplace,” Ms Luey says.
“There are many paths to business success – and success in business means different things to different people. However, bringing in a diversity of perspectives to help you achieve your goals – whether that’s through the staff you hire, mentors you work with or the directors you appoint to a board – could make all the difference in terms of augmenting your skills, providing new ideas or offering a different way of looking at problems or reaching a market.”
Women and technology
Carolyn Luey says one area of concern from the survey was how few women used technology to help achieve business success.
Just 15 per cent of female business owners claimed the use of technology led to success, while almost a quarter (24 per cent) of men said technology helped them become successful.
MYOB recently released a Women in Tech report, which highlights how few local women are directly involved in the sector.
“In New Zealand, men are twice as likely to study ICT at a tertiary level, and almost five times more likely to study engineering and related technologies,” Ms Luey says.
“This may also mean women are less comfortable relying on technology to build their business – a concern when you consider how fundamental technology is to business now, and how much more-so it will be in the future.”
“Ultimately, in order for the whole country to be successful, we need to be working towards gaining every advantage we can in an increasingly globalised and competitive market. Embracing diversity is one of the areas New Zealand can gain competitive advantage, by ensuring our businesses – large and small – maximise the benefits of the broadest range of skills, experience and perspectives.”
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MYOB is a leading provider of online business management solutions. MYOB makes business life easier for approximately 1.2 million businesses across Australia and New Zealand by simplifying accounting, payroll, tax, practice management, CRM, job costing, inventory and more. MYOB operates across three core segments – Clients and Partners (business solutions to SMEs and Advisers); Enterprise Solutions (larger businesses) and Payment Solutions. We also provide ongoing support via many client service channels including a network of over 40,000 accountants, bookkeepers and other consultants. We are committed to ongoing innovation, particularly through our Connected Practice Strategy and through the development of the MYOB Platform. For more information visit www.myob.com or follow @MYOB on Twitter.
About the MYOB Business Monitor
The MYOB Business Monitor is a national survey of 1,000+ New Zealand small and medium business owners and managers, from sole traders to mid-sized companies, representing the major industry sectors. It has run since 2009, commissioned to independent market research firm Colmar Brunton. This most recent survey ran in February/March 2018. The Monitor researches business performance and attitudes in areas such as profitability, cash flow, pipeline, technology usage and the government. The weighting of respondents by both geographical location and sector is based on overall market proportions as established by Statistics New Zealand and is drawn from an independent survey group, which includes both MYOB clients and non-clients.