As a female-led business proud to challenge the status quo, with a workforce of nearly 80% females and a female-led board, we’re always aiming to drive innovation for female empowerment, women in business, and digital equality. So, it was a privilege to host such an engaging and insightful webinar to celebrate International Women’s Day. We’ll be touching on a few of our favourite insights in this blog post but to get the most value we recommend watching the full webinar here.
Thanks to our amazing panellists, Mandana Ahmadi, CEO and Co-founder of Alena, Victoria Clapham, Investment Manager & Co-founder of Manorbidge and Gillian Crawford, founder & Director of Lily Blanche, Chair of BAWE (Scotland) and columnist for The Sunday Times, for your engaging discussions, our hosts, Emma Cofie and Suzanne Scuton for steering the ship, and to everyone that attended the live event.
Here are some of the highlights.
Mobile Apps Help Women With Debt Aversity
As the economic shake-out after the pandemic gradually starts to calm down, it can’t be ignored as a major factor for debt aversion in 2023. However, Gillian and Victoria brought some valuable insights on this topic to the table.
Research from the International Business Times shows that women are only using about ⅓ of the capital that men are using – which can be boiled down to one’s capacity to take risks. Statistically, women are more debt-averse because they tend to be more pragmatic around family finances as they can see what the consequences of debt mean to the family. That’s why they’re less likely to invest their money, use a credit card, or start a business with external capital.
However, thanks to developments in the FinTech space, mobile apps like Plum and Mint open the playing field for easy-to-access investment opportunities and a better understanding of managing your finances.
Now Is The Best Time For Women To Start & Scale Businesses
According to the World Economic Forum, it is estimated to take us 132 years to reach gender parity, and when we do, the economic transformations are incredible. For example, up to £250 billion of new value could be added to the UK economy if women started and scaled new businesses at the same rate as UK men. While an estimated $28 trillion could be added to global GDP in 2025 if women had the same role in labour markets as men.
Gillian shared how e-commerce is a fantastic, easy entry, knowledge-based business opportunity for women, all thanks to digital innovation. For example, The World Bank states that nearly 60% of internet-using women who left their previous jobs (due to pregnancy and birth) now work in e-commerce. Tools such as Google Trends and Uber Suggest allow anyone to hone their business idea. Combine a viable idea with passion and drive and you’ll be confidently on track to entrepreneurship in no time.
Tech Can Help Take The Pressure Off For Girls In Education
A 2022 report showed that women are half as likely to major in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) – but why?
Mandana explained how the confidence and social anxiety of young women in education should be our primary concern here. Not only because it’s part of how the gender gap begins but because young girls are influenced every day by social media and societal pressures. It’s this pressure that can affect the way they perceive their life going forward or their belief in their potential to innovate.
Luckily, there are now mobile apps and technologies aimed at supporting teenagers’ mental health. Some examples include Smiling Mind (for mindfulness and meditation), ThoughtFullChat (for end-to-end mental healthcare), Panda For Teens (for community-based mental health support). But the importance of an education system that recognises this and makes advancements to support female mental health is vital to help close the gender gap.
This was just a peek into the fascinating discussions we had on our webinar. To learn more about digital innovation, the solutions it provides, and the economic impact of digital equity, you can catch the full recording here.