Belfast Telegraph

Bank study claims Northern Ireland's female bosses 'less likely to take risks'

By Staff Reporter

Female business leaders in Northern Ireland are less likely than male bosses to take risks such as first-time exporting or taking on new staff, according to a study today.

The Ulster Bank Boost Index found that female leaders were less likely than men to be considering investing and expanding.

Over three-quarters of female business leaders told the survey that their company does not export, compared to 58% of male business leaders.

The index researched around 200 firms with up to 50 employees in sectors such as manufacturing and food and drink.

But Joanne Liddle, MD of IPC Mouldings in Carrickfergus, told the Belfast Telegraph it was not shying away from growth.

"We have recently announced expansion and investment in new machinery, new technology and additional jobs to support growth. Over the last year our business exported, directly or indirectly, over 90% of our product," said the managing director.

"I can't comment for other companies that are women-led, but growth, investment and export is a matter of course for IPC and one we don't shy away from."

According to Ulster Bank, 38% of male respondents said that they were likely or very likely to consider investing in their firms, compared to 18% of females.

Two-thirds (68%) of female business leaders said they were not willing to take on more people, compared to 43% of males.

Lisa McCaul, Ulster Bank business growth enabler, said: "When it comes to exporting, part of the differential between men and women can perhaps be explained by the types of businesses being led by each, with a higher proportion of females leading services business. However, this certainly doesn't explain all of it.

"Other studies internationally have found that female CEOs tend to be associated with lower levels of risk taking.

"This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is important to understand that there are risks inherent in doing business and being an entrepreneur and some of these risks are acceptable."

Belfast Telegraph

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