SLC Chamber: business still harder for Utah women than men

Utah women in business find that in some fields, they have to work harder to be taken as seriously as their male counterparts. Courtesy Small Business Administration.

SALT LAKE CITY – It’s National Women’s Small Business Month – and in Utah, women starting small businesses may be working harder to overcome inequalities that men in the corporate world don’t experience.

Ann Marie Thompson, a business consultant for the Salt Lake Chamber Women’s Business Center, said women in some fields, such as construction and information technology, still must work to be taken as seriously in business as are their male counterparts.

“Especially in certain industries, they’re at very much a social disadvantage,” she said. “It’s difficult to compete with the majority, in industries that are usually men.”

Thompson said the business idea she hears most often from women is the desire to start a coffee shop. There are also many unique ideas, she said, such as the woman who has become very successful selling homemade chocolate ornaments.

According to the 2013 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, commissioned by American Express, Utah ranks among the top 10 states for the most growth in its number of women-owned businesses since 1997.

Thompson encouraged women with a business idea or concept to pursue their dream – and ask the Salt Lake Chamber Women’s Business Center for assistance.

“The Women’s Business Center itself is really focused on women and minorities,” she said, “so there is an advantage to coming to our center that’s specifically geared toward women and their issues, and women and their lives, and their work balance.”

According to the Small Business Administration, women-owned companies are the fastest growing segment of new businesses in the nation.

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