Avon says lack of confidence hinders Filipinas’ business foray

 Avon says lack of confidence hinders Filipinas’ business foray

MORE than half of Filipinas have cited the lack of confidence as an obstacle that prevents them from starting a business, according to a report by global beauty brand Avon.

In a statement on Wednesday, Avon said its Global Progress for Women report showed that 52% of Filipina respondents pointed to the lack of confidence as a barrier to starting a business, while 79% blamed insufficient financial resources for hampering their entrepreneurial goal.

The Avon report, which was conducted by global research company Censuswide, involved more than 7,000 women from the United Kingdom, Italy, Romania, Poland, Philippines, Turkey, and South Africa. The research was done from Jan. 18 to 23 this year.

According to Avon, the research showed that 90% of Filipinas want a higher income but have been hindered by social and cultural norms.

“These statistics are alarming, as a deeper dive into the report reveals that 90% of Filipina women want to earn more money. However, the barriers that keep them from greater economic opportunities spotlight larger Philippine social and cultural issues that need to be addressed,” Avon said.

Citing a 2021 study by the World Bank, Avon said that gender norms in the Philippines have dominated the economic and domestic roles for men and women, adding that men have been typically deemed as breadwinners while women have been seen as homemakers.

“These beliefs are still quite widespread across the country — leaving Filipina women to deal with the social expectation to prioritize their home and family lives over the chance to pursue productive work,” Avon said.

“Although Filipina women have access to more opportunities than before, they are still surrounded by stereotypes and the society’s traditional expectations that challenge them career-wise and financially,” it added.

Among the surveyed countries, the typical challenges faced by women when starting a business include finances (61%), fear of failure (44%), not knowing where to start (36%), lack of knowledge of the market (34%), and lack of confidence (33%).

Meanwhile, the report also revealed that 77% of women in the seven countries surveyed wish to earn more via another income stream or in their current job, while 35% said that men are favored in having access to starting their own business.

In terms of inequalities faced by women at work and from reaching their full financial potential, the Avon report showed that the top obstacle is the lack of flexible working opportunities (48%), followed by earned income (46%), and the ability to start their own business (29%).

Avon Chief Executive Officer Angela Cretu said cultural stereotypes and the lack of flexible working are hampering the opportunities and work choices of women.

Amid the celebration of International Women’s Month this March, Ms. Cretu urged to open the conversation on the barriers preventing women from equal access to work.

“Driving positive change for women has been hard-wired into Avon’s business since the beginning: every time you buy a lipstick you are helping to support a female entrepreneur. Removing the barriers to economic participation that women face is crucial to helping drive progress for women,” Ms. Cretu said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave