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A recent report from RBS has cast a spotlight on the reasons why some women decide not to go into business, and it seems as though TV role models may be to blame. One third of women surveyed confessed that the type of aggressive behaviour showcased on shows such as The Apprentice made them believe that they would not have the ruthlessness to succeed and this actively discouraged them from starting up in business.
On the plus side, 56% of women entrepreneurs said that they were inspired by tales of other women who had bounced back from failure and gone on to create a successful business. Writing in The Guardian the managing director diversity in business and commercial banking at RBS, Anne McPherson, said that “great entrepreneurs can be found everywhere and what they need is high quality advice and guidance to explore their business dreams and help them achieve their ambitions.”
Of course, the role model effect does not just affect those who are going to business for themselves. The qualities displayed by the CEO and leadership team can have a profound effect on the attitudes and expectations of employees throughout an organisation. And as those behaviours filter through the organisation its culture will change, for good or bad as will the fortunes of the organisation.