Loading articles...

Women business owners find ways to deal with gender bias

Last Updated Oct 10, 2018 at 10:20 am MDT

In this Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018, photo Ollie co-founders Gabby Slome and Alex Douzet look over the production line where their premium dog food is manufactured in Woodbridge, N.J. Potential customers or investors often assume that Slome and Douzet, two of the co-founders of dog food manufacturer Ollie, are married. Outsiders can't seem to get their minds around the fact that Slome, who's married to someone else, could be running a business without her husband, or without him bankrolling her. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Many women business owners say they’ve encountered gender discrimination from potential investors, customers and employees who don’t grasp the reality that a woman can be a CEO, trial attorney or own a technology company.

The bias can be subtle, like failing to make eye contact with a woman business owner but engaging in animated conversation with her male co-owner. Or more blatant, like asking an owner who’s seeking investor money if she plans to have children.

Many women owners are taken aback at first and don’t know how to respond to comments or behaviour they find insulting, intrusive and demeaning. But over time, they find strategies to deal with bias, including confronting it head-on.