Boastful burdz or braw business broads?

This has been a great week to be a member of the business sisterhood. But don’t go getting your Y-fronts in a fankle fellas, it just happens that this has been a Word Up working week where small biz burdz have featured large.

I’ve got no problem at all with the business brotherhood, indeed I’ve always really enjoyed the company of the male of the species, even the business braggadocios. But having spent a lot of my working life in the company of men (ah yes, the heady days of BBC Sport), you’ll forgive me if I big up the broads once in a while.

Because this week it’s been a real pleasure to spend time with businesswomen, to hear their hopes and dreams, plans and ambitions, fears and victories. Bear in mind that this is a group of people who just happen to fall into the same chromosomic gene pool as me, so it’s only right that we found lots of common ground in the great entrepreneurial adventure that is building a business.

Over the last few days there’s been a veritable empathy overload as we women shared tales of balancing the books whilst bathing the baby. Solidarity in the sisterhood broke out as we compared notes on strategic planning, product development, marketing and making money whilst preparing the dinner, doing the school run and cleaning the lavvy. Boy, how we laughed at the bonkers, and sometimes seriously stress-inducing, challenges of being a sister doing it for herself in business.

But it really struck me just how bashful these business burdz really are. With noble exceptions, almost all the gals just didn’t want to brag or boast about themselves or their businesses. That is partly because women don’t want to be seen as being boastful, brazen or even a wee bit attention-seeking. Some of it can be put down to an in-bred, socio-political conditioning that is generations deep, and which amounts to a profound lack of self-belief and self-confidence. But a large part of it is because girls just don’t want to play to the tune of boys’ business behaviour.

But come on, girls – it’s time to grow a pair of business balls.

You don’t need to be a business braggart, you don’t even need to shout it out from the rooftops, but a bit of confidence and self-promotion would be good. I can’t force you to have self-belief by the bucketload, but I can say that I believe in you. And I’m not alone.

If John Swinney, Cabinet Minister for Finance and Sustainable Growth can tell today’s Business In the Parliament Conference that women are “integral and influential” to the business landscape in Scotland, then damn tootin’ we can join in with that chorus. It doesn’t matter if it’s micro-business or multinational, women are making their mark.

So ladies, let’s get with the programme and speak up proudly, positively and publicly about what we’ve got to offer to society, enterprise and to the economy. We owe it to our daughters, at least. Because it’s true – we’re a bunch of braw business broads. And you’d better believe it.