This is a man’s world: Not in business, though

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The Brady Bunch days of old are over.

The traditional household has changed and more women than ever are trading in their aprons and dustpans for a crack at the business life.

This change has created a new dynamic for business experts to contemplate – is there a difference in the ways that males and females go about their business?

Some tend to think there is a difference between the way each gender handles situations in the office place.

“Men and women do probably have different approaches to business,” said Bianca Robinson, WBEC South President. “Not that one is more favorable than the other.”

According to experts, the differences between men and women occur in places that are probably easy to predict.

The first is personality and temperament.

Robinson said that because of their jobs as mothers and caregivers, most women tend to take a softer approach to leadership in the workplace.

“Sometimes women are perhaps more nurturing,” Robinson said. “Their approach may be softer initially. It might not always be the case, but there seems to be a difference between men and women in that regard.”

Kassie Barrancotto with the Women’s Alliance of Houma agrees, but approached the topic at a different angle.

She said that even though more women are working, it doesn’t mean that their work around their homes are being lessened.

Barrancotto said that because of the double-up in daily duties, working women sometimes struggle to find balance in their lives.

“I would venture to say that probably all women struggle with work and life balance, regardless of whether you are an entrepreneur or in a corporate setting,” Barrancotto said. “Women are still the primary caregivers at home and all that it entails.

“That is changing, and more men are helping to shoulder these responsibilities. Women are feeling less guilty about finding and allowing themselves to have some me-time.”

But while the transition from stay at home mom to businesswoman is a delicate transition, the working world itself is challenging for women.

Countless studies have shown that gender inequality exists in the workplace – a tilt that favors men.

In almost every situation, males make more money than females who do the same job in the same situation.

“It depends on the industry and the business (a woman) is starting,” Robinson said. “If it’s a predominantly male industry, that will be a challenge right there.”

Away from the inequality issue, basic business challenges also exist for women who make the leap and decide to start a company.

Barrancotto said getting funding and creating a solid team are a must.

“Especially for a small business or a start-up, access to capital can be a major factor impacting future success,” Barrancotto said. “It becomes critical to have a sound and solid business plan, as well as advisors that you can rely on. It is important to surround yourself with people who are smarter than you who will provide honest feedback.”

But even with all of the challenges present, success is possible for women in any field.

Barrancotto pointed to numerous success stories from the past involving women in business.

She said that she points to three traits that are important for any businesswoman looking to find success in her particular craft.

“I have found that successful businesswomen have three major characteristics in common – they are passionate, persistent and persevering in their approach to business,” Barrancotto said.

Passion is a trait that Barrancotto said is most important.

She said that her lasting bit of advice to any woman on the fence is to chase dreams with all of your heart.

“It needs to be something that you love and are very passionate about,” Barrancotto said. “Because you will be working that business 24/7. You will live and breathe that business until you are fairly well established. Then, you will need to continue with that same passion to ensure growth, to attract clients and to motivate your employees.”