I was asked last week, by a female franchisee, which gender made the best franchisees…
She didn’t quite phrase it like that, but I got the gist of what she was saying.
What chance does that give me? I thought as I carefully formulated my answer, which I then delivered in a balanced and unemotional way. ‘Oh God, women, definitely, without a shadow of a doubt…’
This got me thinking about this whole men/women debate that continues to raise its head every so often.
Let’s get one thing out of the way first. Of course, there should be equality in terms of pay, promotion and every other aspect of life between the sexes. I don’t doubt there isn’t (equality, that is)… but there should be.
But beyond that I think we should stop trying to be the same and embrace the differences that are fundamental to human existence. After all, as the old saying goes, ‘only that which is different can make us complete’.
Okay, so how does this whole male/female split manifest itself, particularly in EB? One thing that really gets my wife’s goat is the existence of ‘women only’ networking groups. She believes that things like that simply perpetuates the divide. She also believes that a woman is more than capable of holding her own at any networking event and that these groups are pretty superfluous.
She also a realist, though. And this means that she attends these groups because there’s business to be done… she hates it, but she goes.
In terms of franchising, there are many more male franchisees than female and that’s a real shame. It’s a shame because any network is strengthened by variety; whether it’s a mix of men and women, experienced technical people or marketers, old and young.
The essential problem is, though, the make up of a network will always depend on the applications coming through… if 80% are blokes coming through at the application stage, then the network is going to be 80% (roughly speaking) fellas, as well.
That means, of course, that franchisors would benefit from advertising in places where women will see the marketing and be inspired to get in touch…
Ah, but there’s the problem. Remember, we don’t want to increase the male/female gap by highlighting the differences between the genders. Unless, of course, we embrace the fact that men and women are different and stop worrying too much about it.