Should we sex up our content?

unisex.jpgShould women be treated differently in business? As a man I’ve never really felt qualified to give an opinion on this one, but shared plenty of debates with women who’ve passionately defended / rubbished the need for female-only business groups, networking events, awards etc.At the core of this comes the belief that women do or don’t face greater or different challenges than men, or, less tangibly, do business in a different way.Three things got me thinking about it again this week:Firstly, Rachel Elnaugh prompted accusations of sexism when she claimed women are more ‘emotionally attached’ to their businesses than men. She’s backed it up using stats from her Entrepreneur Profiler data which shows 54% of men were motivated by money and material drivers as opposed to 34% of women who instead pointed to emotional drivers.Secondly, Enterprising Women launched a £10m fund in conjunction with Lloyds TSB to finance loans, training and mentoring. UK female entrepreneurs can borrow up to £30,000. Chief exec Bev Hurley says there’s a real need for it:“Women say that they are often discouraged from seeking business loans, have been advised that re-mortgaging their homes would be a better, or the only, way of financing their business, charged a higher interest rate. They also report that some funders still have very traditional assumptions and stereotypes about women's enterprise.”There are of course, plenty of exceptions. When the government announced plans at the last Budget for a new £12.5m fund for entrepreneurs I was impressed by Texperts founder Sarah McVittie’s reaction. “I’m not sure we even need it but £12.5m is actually quite insulting if it’s for every business woman in the country. I’ve raised £3m on my own, so what's the point?”Finally, we’re busy building the real Smarta site due to launch in November and still can’t decide whether to include a specific space for female entrepreneurs.We're leaning more to McVittie than Hurley or Elnaugh, and it all feels, well, archaic; and by putting people in boxes surely you're only perpetuating the problem not solving it? Love to hear your views.Image: Flickr

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