Gender-Sensitive Policy Responses

Policy responses are needed to enable business women to compete on an equal footing with businesswomen and for national economies to tap the enormous potential of women entrepreneurs, business owners and business operators. There is growing awareness that gender inequality is inefficient not only slowing growth but also having social and political costs. Trade policy changes the relative costs and prices of imported and locally produced goods and in some cases, services.

These changes affect consumption and investment as well as the competitive position of local and foreign producers due to their smaller size and concentration in the service sector, women’s business are more likely to serve the domestic market and be in areas affected by foreign competition, cheap imports and the opening of multinational supermarket chains can seriously damage women operate business. In other areas, women are often unable to take advantage of new export opportunities because of their lack of access to resources, including information; most do not recognize the specific needs of women’s business or businesswomen.

Programmes head to target the sub-sectors where women are concentrated and be delivered in ways that are sensitive to the gender roles, capacity and access of woman and men. The timing and location of service delivery and training courses have to take into account potential access problems for women with family responsibilities. In many countries, businesswomen and women’s business are very poorly represented in trade missions and trade fairs and ambitious. Specialized women only trade missions and quote of women owner business operate should both be considered.

A better representation of women among the staff in trade and commerce department and toe asked with supporting in overseas missions would help to encourage businesswomen to travel and explore business opportunities in export markets. Gender diversity: Gender diversity has it that companies and business operations should focus at gender balance in senior positions. Realistically, the focus is transforming from ‘democracy and justice’, to ‘demographic trends’ and ‘economic reasons’.

Thus the focus has changed to embrace an economic aspect in retrospect. From this perspective, there is some specific interest in ‘proving’ the economic value of gender diversity. In the expert group we have debated this issue extensively, and one of the experts– Dr Laure Turner (ENSEA, Paris) worked together with four companies to gain a better understanding of the connections between gender diversity and performance. Researches indicate that women in the last decades have become better qualified and motivated to take up public roles.

Currently there are more qualified, young women entering the labour market than men (Eurostat, 2005). A workforce consisting of women is clearly one which is realising its full potential. The unlikelihood here is that the dominance of men is a result of meritocracy. By its very meaning, the meritocratic ideal rules out any social determinants other than talent and effort. Most blatantly abused social anathemas of society are waning. Nepotism, bribery, and inheritance as the only channels of attaining public office have found little address.

Individual merit has been the only test being applied Young, (1994) From this perspective, unequal opportunities are not only a matter of injustice perpetrated against women but objectively a matter of wasted talent. Arguments in terms of ‘wasted talent’ already imply a more economic approach, as is also the case when referring to a better anticipation of customer needs, as well as less measurable effects such as improving the image and credibility of commerce.

The business case touches the heart of all companies; diverse teams produce better results, as we will see in the discussion below. Whilst the business case is the first reason to drive diversity, the moral imperative is also mentioned, albeit seen through a corporate social responsibility lens. The campaign for more gender diversity will gain general support if based on a broad spectrum of arguments, varying from justice to profit.