When is a company gender equal? About ownership
I just read a very interesting article on the news site Breakit (Swedish). The reporter has investigated 4 companies' that all stand for female empowerment and sell products to women, but all of them were mostly owned by men. Breakit also writes that when they contacted one of the owners he didn't understand the problem at all, and stated that 90% of the employees are women and that they have a female CEO. This would mean that when the company is sold or does an IPO the men will get paid.
Obviously the main purpose of starting a business is to make money and to be profitable. Many startups want to scale up their companies and one day sell it to a private equity firm and/or do an IPO. There are millions of ideas out there and in theory you can make money of everything. I've started to see a trend among new businesses, and that is that they have a WHY. Why do WE exist? Personally I believe it's important for the credibility that the WHY is there from start - the foundation of the company. You need to convince your potential customers to buy your products or services, and that's easier if you know WHY.
Of course men can say things like "f*ck the patriarchy” and truly mean it, but I wonder in this case if they do it to make money or if it's their true belief? I've talked to some friends about Breakit's article and many of them were surprised that the mentioned companies in the article were owned by men - as if it was hidden.
We know for a fact that money is power. In order to become a gender equal society I truly believe that women need to own more - something that could "easily" be done if women started more companies. Who has millons to invest in an existing one?
What's my WHY? Why did I start By Banoo? Just as many other companies it started with a problem that I wanted to solve. I felt that there weren't any good work bags for women on the market, and that's why we exist. Sure, I want to build a profitable and scalable company, but I also want to stand up for why I do it. I'm proud to own By Banoo and I want more women to start their own businesses so they can be owners as well. In my opinion, we will have a gender equal society if the ownership is split 50/50 between men and women. Does this mean that every company needs to have this split? Not really, but in overall society the split is more reasonable.
In summary, I believe a way to obtain an equal ownership is through more women starting companies, and then starting to invest in other companies so that the money grows and in the long run the female ownership.
Finally, I want to give a shoutout to Ownershift - their mission is to increase women's ownership - something I truly agree with.