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Odds stacked against women at work and in business

Two new pieces of research highlight some of the hurdles that women have to face - both as employees and as entrepreneurs.

Launched to coincide with International Women's Day, a new survey by Crunch Accounting has found that British women "consistently have a tougher time at work".

The poll of UK employees found that 25% of women said that never getting praise from their boss was one of the most frustrating examples of bad management, compared with 18% of men who said the same. A fifth (20%) of women said their boss favoured other colleagues, compared to 11% of men. One in five female respondents (20%) said their boss never gave them a pay rise; only 14% men said the same.

And these gripes are having an impact on the career plans and progression potential of many of the women questioned - 30% of females polled had considered quitting their jobs many times, in contrast to 22% of men.

Helen Monk, People Manager at Crunch, said: 

"Although some of these statistics taken individually may only seem to show slight differentials in the experiences of men and women, when looking at the findings of the research overall, you can see clear disparities in how women are treated compared to their male counterparts in UK workplaces."

Meanwhile, a new poll of 1,700 entrepreneurs from the US, UK, Europe and Australia by 99 Designs has found that women are more likely to start their business later in life than men and with tend to get less funding.

Nearly a fifth of men (18%) started out at age 18-25, compared to only 12% of women. And overall, men tend to get significantly more funding than women. However, the UK is actually bucking this trend - as female entrepreneurs in the UK are currently attracting more funding than men.

The research also highlights differences in the way women and men approach entrepreneurialism. Men are more likely to read books to improve their skills, while women are more likely to take a course. Women also value networking more than men and are more likely to have a mentor. One in five women (20%) said "getting out of their comfort zone" was their biggest challenge to getting started, compared to 14% of men.

"All entrepreneurs are stepping into the unknown to a degree, but the findings show that this is even more of a challenge for women," said Pam Webber, CMO at 99 Designs. "Opening yourself up to rejection or failure is hard for anyone, but female entrepreneurs find taking these risks harder."

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