Where them girls at – the only girl in LUTES
According to Suomen Yrittäjänaiset ry (the Women Entrepreneurs of Finland) one third of Finnish entrepreneurs are women. I have been involved in LUTES for roughly two years now and both of the boards I witnessed before becoming a board member myself had two ladies. As our board has six members that is one third. I have never been one to think that entrepreneurship is a boy-girl-thing (maybe ‘cause I myself as a girl have always wanted to be my own boss). To me it’s more about a mindset than a gender. The next fact was a bit surprising to me though.
That being said I also want to strongly stress that I do not consider entrepreneurship as a “boy-thing”. In fact there are a bunch of entrepreneurship women around me. My mom, my grandma and my best friend – to mention a few. This year LUTES has shaken my faith a little bit though. I was chosen as the vice chairman of LUTES last December. Not only have am I now the only girl in the board, I have also been more or less the only girl in general. This is insane! WHERE ARE THE LADIES?!
Don’t get me wrong, I love “my boys” – as I often call the other board members ‘cause well, you know, they’re all boys. Sometimes my friends ask how I deal with hanging with a bunch of guys: “How do you deal with their stupid jokes? Do they turn off their ‘boy-talk’?” Well… My jokes are pretty much as stupid and I don’t know if they turn it off or not because I can’t tell anymore. That’s all fine. I’m used to hanging out with them and don’t mind their gender. They might mind me being a girl sometimes as it comes off as being a tad bitchy sometimes – but that’s a whole other issue. Regardless, they treat me as one of them and not as “the only girl in the organization”. They make coffee and clean just as I do. Thus, this not really the issue. What I am worried about is not the amount of women compared to men in LUTES but the lack of women in general.
As the election of our new board draws closer, I would like to give a shout out especially to all you girls out there! LUTES needs you! Entrepreneurship – as I mentioned before – is not a girl-boy-thing. However, I do think that in many occasions men and women have different perspectives and ideas. Therefore it is very valuable to have both sexes well represented in the organization. So if you are a girl and contemplating whether to get involved in LUTES – the right answer is definitely “YES”. Trust me it’s going to be so much fun! Even if you end up being the “only girl in the organization”. 😉
Elina aka TIVOLI
LUTES vice chair 2015