The British Franchise Association (bfa), is pleased to see the increasing number of women entering business and franchising, and challenging industry roles
Today we commemorate the legion of achievements made by women across the world and throughout history. While it is a day of celebration, we must also recognise that gender inequalities still exist. Today is an opportunity to challenge injustices, open cultural, social and political discussion and come together to create solutions for a more gender-balanced future.
Women in business continue to challenge the status quo, rising in numbers across all industries and especially franchising, which has seen 20% increase in new female franchisees since 2015, according to the 2018 bfa NatWest Franchise Survey.
Julie Houston, a franchisee for Right at Home North Cheshire and Leigh, a domiciliary care provider, is not surprised by this figure: “Franchising is a secure way for us, as women, to run our own business. It offers greater flexibility to create our ideal work-life balance around our passions and responsibilities such as family commitments, parents, children, grandchildren, while at the same time running a successful business. I can see how this will appeal to more women in the future. It works for me with Right at Home.”
Platinum Property Partners franchisee Valerie Highton, a property investment company, advises women looking into franchising to go for their goals, stating: “As a female, I think you can take the skills you have learned in life, in your work, or even as a stay at home mum, as they are all transferable. If you’re organised and diligent, then you’ll be a step ahead, but most importantly, be willing to learn. Being a woman should not be a barrier to anything at all. I believe there are lots of skills that women have that men don’t and vice versa. The difference is that no matter what sex you are or your level of skill or knowledge, you must have the resources to be taught and the support to help you progress – this is something that a franchise provides.”
The bfa hopes to continue providing a platform for women to thrive with the annual flagship event Empowering Women in Business (EWIB). The purpose is to champion women in the workplace, discuss current issues and topics, and bring together like-minded women.
Emily Heathcote, a franchisee for Fastsigns, a sign design franchise, attended EWIB in 2018. She believes events such as this are important for the progression for women in business
“I think EWIB is important because it helps to empower women in business, especially in franchising where it’s been previously so male-dominated. It’s absolutely fantastic to be there with a cohort of such strong women who have happily shared their past experiences, and for someone who is a millennial in their late 20s, it’s empowering to see the future”
EWIB will be held on November 14th this year and more details will be released in due course.