What challenges do women starting new businesses face?
Sometimes women lack confidence. Often men will say I can do it and they will go and find out how to do it. Whereas unless a woman really can do something, a woman will hesitate to put her hand up and say I can do it. The more women bind together and give each other confidence, the better it is. As women get more experienced, and there are more in the market place, things will improve.
Do you believe in the glass ceiling?
Definitely men are still at the helm, the majority of them. There are women at the top and there are women prime ministers and in America we might have a female president next year. So I think women are breaking through. A lot of women leave the corporate world and decide to start their own businesses. If you are going to say to yourself that there is a glass ceiling and I will not get to the top, it is a limiting factor.
Are you seeing more women in the C-Suite now?
There are a lot of women. They are still in the minority if you look at numbers across the board. There are women who are getting there. Look at Maria Ramos (Barclays). There are a lot of women in middle management and senior management. Maybe not so many at senior management but there are more women at work these days.
Your advice to new business owners…?
Definitely go for it but do your research well. Put a little questionnaire together, find out what people think about your product idea. You may have a good idea but your consumers, if you ask them, will help you mould your ideas together.