Bilbao (EFE) they marry undertake
These are some of the reflections that he conveyed in a conversation with EFE Lauzirika, who has assured that in entrepreneurship there is also “a lot to do” in terms of gender equality.
EmakumeEKin is a non-profit association with a feminist perspective that was born in 2013 when a group of women entrepreneurs seeking to advance their business projects saw how the limitations they encountered along the way were caused by gender inequalities.
Ten years later and at the gates of a new 8M, Lauzirika acknowledges that in this time there has been an evolution as a society towards a greater acceptance of feminist demands, but has specified that there is still a long way to go in terms of equality and entrepreneurship as well.
Thus, she has explained that a woman who decides to undertake today comes up against internal limitations that were also there ten years ago. In this sense, she has described that traditionally women have not been educated to take the initiative but to follow that of others and that they have also been taught to be “perfectionists”.
How are we going to be entrepreneurs without being visible?
“This rearguard figure in entrepreneurship is almost impossible. How are we going to be entrepreneurs without being visible? If that is really what it is about, to say: here I am, this is the idea of the business that I want to develop”, explained Lauzirika.
Nor does entrepreneurship match the education in perfectionism that women have traditionally received: “experience tells us that undertaking is trial and error”, “that the first entrepreneurial initiative is ‘per se’ imperfect” and that it is through experience, of the “trial and error, that our company is taking shape along the way”, he has described.
Lauzirika has also specified that although there are more and more women visible references in this area, there are still very masculinized sectors, such as technicians, and others such as cooking or fashion where, despite having a majority of women, the visible heads are men.
“There is a glass ceiling that has no other explanation than sexism and inequality,” he said.
He has also talked about something that they have detected: the “self-bargaining” into which women fall when it comes to establishing the value of their work. “If as a professional you have to put a price on what you do and they have not taught you to value yourself, it is difficult” to set it, added Lauzirika.
EmakumeEkin is a “space of trust” so that women entrepreneurs can express their doubts, “feel safe in their vulnerability” and weave a network among colleagues, because starting a business is a process with “many ups and downs”, Lauzirika has related.
He added that what EmakumeEkin offers with its workshops, meetings, conferences and advisory sessions, is “complementary” to what the institutions offer to the entrepreneurial community.
“We do not intend to replace the necessary work that different institutions are doing”, but “it is true” -he specified- that “sometimes” they work “as if inequality in this area did not exist”.
However, Lauzirika has remarked that “entrepreneurship is not exempt from this gender inequality”.
“It seems that the freedom to ‘build your own professional dream’ is a great blank sheet that is not crossed by any limitations and our experience and studies reflect that there are gender limitations,” he described.
Measuring inequality in entrepreneurship
To move forward, Lauzirika spoke of the importance of knowing the situation of the economic gap in self-employment in the Basque Country in order to implement public policies and positive actions that reduce the gender gap that these reports will predictably produce. She has explained that this claim has already been sent to the Basque Government.
According to data from the Basque Executive, the average annual earnings per worker in the Basque Country is 29,476.21 euros. By sex, 32,529.2 euros for men and 26,197.62 euros for women. Therefore, if annual earnings are taken into account, in the Basque Country there is a wage gap of 19.5% (6,331.55 euros)
“All together we are many”
Lauzirika has affirmed that they “intuit” that the wage gap in self-employment will be greater, but has insisted that the important thing is to carry out the study to see “where it can influence”.
On the occasion of the next 8M, he wanted to insist that “equality is a human right, something that is sometimes forgotten,” and that it is necessary to put it on the table again and again.
She has stressed that women entrepreneurs and businesswomen are an “important” part of the economy and that they are “many more” than is believed.
“Actresses, dentists, baserritarras… there are many women who have taken charge of their own professional life and have embarked on their own path and that has to be made visible and valued even though the structures of many are minimal, of one or two people”, has concluded. EFE