Being a Woman in ICT and Adult Entertainment : the Golden Rules…Let’s be clear, this is not a feminist claim nor a quest for equality. Let’s just be realistic: If I were a man it wouldn’t even have crossed my mind to write about this.
I would have rather tackled purely business related topics, with facts and figures and all that concrete stuff.
I just want to be brutally honest, share my experience and maybe “inspire” one or two people, whether they be women or men.
Because we all fancy numbers…
Check these out: A report from the EU Commission stated that in 2012 there were 40.6 million entrepreneurs active in Europe, of whom 31,3% were women. The percentage varies considerably between countries. With 43%, Liechtenstein had the highest percentage of women entrepreneurs, followed by Latvia (40%), Lithuania (40%) and Luxembourg (39%).
Another study from the EU Commission shows that the number of female entrepreneurs in ICT is considerably lower than non-ICT sectors: Women make up 31.3% of self-employed Europeans and only 19.2% of ICT entrepreneurs.
Some real insight…
So, why are the numbers of women in ICT so much lower? Here are potential issues that some women many fall into:
- Fear of starting on your own.
- Fear of following your ideas and beliefs.
- Fear of failure .
- The social pressure of building a family and all of that.*
* Actually, on this last point, the comments I usually get are, “Oh, you don’t have kids?! Well it’s about time. Don’t waste your time or wait too long. Work will always be there”. But let’s again be realistic: You can’t really mix maternity and career, especially when you’re just starting out and you want to make a name in this world. You can’t really make any mistakes or not be available when your time is entirely devoted to your customers. They don’t want to hear that you spent your entire night changing nappies, no mater the field you work in. Flexibility, adaptability and reliability are the keys to success.
Here are some ways potential ways of responding to these fears:
- Accept that failure could happen, but get up stronger.
- Enter this highly male-driven world that is IT/ICT and make yourself comfortable.
- Be willing to stand up for what you believe in.
- Demand equality from a male-driven crowd by being pro at what you do. All these “geeks” as I like to call them are actually down-to-earth, open-minded, understanding and potentially great colleagues, but they will consider you an equal only if you prove yourself to be a professional.
And what about the adult online industry?
I have been involved with this industry and have helped make it grow and succeed. It’s one of the most advanced, challenging and fun industries I have worked in. And yes, it goes without saying that it greatly involves IT. Actually, without the infrastructure, the developers and the technologies, there would be nothing. And the same goes for lots of other industries and sectors.
What I have realised working in this sector is that there is actually a great deal of respect towards the women that are making it thrive, whether directly online as performers or offline and behind the scenes. Another interesting fact is that 20% of all users or members of an online adult content platform are women. That says a lot.
There is so much taboo around this type of business and so many stereotypes and wrong beliefs. If you follow all the criticism, I, as a woman, should actually be the first one to rage against it. But on the contrary, to me it’s rather empowering for women; a new kind of feminism that gives women free will.
Being an entrepreneur and a woman, whatever the industries, can sometimes be tough and challenging, but also so rewarding and great for personal development. I believe all entrepreneurs, men and women alike, face the same types of obstacles and drawbacks. Success depends on your mindset, will, and faith. Accept failures, ignore stereotypes and never listen to negative spirited people (and they are everywhere.) These are the golden rules…at least to me.