Does gender influence the path employees take to success?

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There are many paths to business success – and success in business means different things to different people, according to MYOB general manager Carolyn Luey.

However, Luey added that bringing in a diversity of perspectives to help achieve goals – whether that’s through the staff you hire, mentors you work with or the directors you appoint to a board – “could make all the difference in terms of augmenting your skills, providing new ideas or offering a different way of looking at problems or reaching a market”.

Luey’s comments come following new research by MYOB which found female business owners attribute their success to different factors than their male counterparts.

The MYOB Business Monitor research also revealed that women are more likely to rely on their relationship-building skills in developing their business.

In fact, 54% of New Zealand’s female SME owners said success came from networking with the right people, compared to 42% of male SME owners.

Moreover, female business owners were more likely to appreciate the impact of having the right idea at the right time, with more than one third (35%) saying they were successful in business due to timing, while just 26% of male business owners said the same.

Many of the fundamental approaches to business were the same for business owners of both sexes, with having a strong work ethic seen as the most important factor by both women (67%) and men (66%).

Women, however, are also slightly more likely to place an emphasis on having a unique product or service (26%) than men (23%).

Luey said the survey highlights that men and women do bring different perspectives to the workplace.

“Rather than taking anything away from either gender, this survey really underscores the importance of diversity in the workplace,” said Luey.

Luey said one area of concern from the survey was how few women used technology to help achieve business success.

Just 15% of female business owners claimed the use of technology led to success, while almost a quarter (24%) of men said technology helped them become successful. MYOB also recently released a Women in Tech report, which highlights how few local women are directly involved in the sector.

“In New Zealand, men are twice as likely to study ICT at a tertiary level, and almost five times more likely to study engineering and related technologies,” said Luey.

“This may also mean women are less comfortable relying on technology to build their business – a concern when you consider how fundamental technology is to business now, and how much more-so it will be in the future.

“Ultimately, in order for the whole country to be successful, we need to be working towards gaining every advantage we can in an increasingly globalised and competitive market.”

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