Men And Women In Business Are Same Yet Different
While men and women business owners may differ in their management styles, their attitudes and behavior are remarkably similar when it comes to computers.
A recent unprecedented study, commissioned by IBM, reveals women and men business owners are equally likely to invest in and use computer and information technology. "Women business owners are keenly aware of the importance technology plays in the future growth of their companies," says Cherie Piebes, IBM national executive, women- and minority-owned businesses.
Findings, however, conclude, that women differ in how they make their purchasing decisions, especially when it comes to computers and similar high tech, high end equipment. "Women-owned firms are every bit as focused on keeping technology up-to-date and available for future growth as are men-owned firms," says Susan Peterson, Chair of the National Foundation for Women Business Owners, which conducted the survey. "However, women business owners place much more emphasis on service, price and the vendor's reputation and experience." IBM recognizes that women in business have distinct needs and demands and asserts that companies that understand this and create programs specifically suited to these needs will find a market that is dynamic, profitable and loyal.
The survey also found:
- The fastest growing sector in American business today is that of companies owned by women.
- An average of 1,400 women-owned businesses are started in the U.S. each day.
- Almost 80 percent of women business owners place great importance on a 24-hour or toll-free help line when considering a purchase, compared to only 63 percent of men entrepreneurs.
- Women business owners are more price sensitive than their male counterparts (92 percent compared to 85 percent say that is an important decision factor).
- Women place a higher value on ease of installation and use, a warranty and the vendor's reputation and experience.
- Women business owners are more likely to rely on fellow business owners for information and recommendations.
- Businesses owned by women employ 18.5 million Americans, or one in every four company workers.
- It is estimated that U.S. women-owned businesses will spend $44.5 billion on computer-related technology in 1996.
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