The benefits of rejection - Macleans.ca
 

The benefits of rejection

Women aren’t as practised as men at being turned down


 

Getty Images

Why are there still so few female entrepreneurs? According to one MIT researcher, the answer is simple: it all comes down to sexual rejection. Chizoba Nnaemeka, of the MIT Entrepreneurship Review, says women aren’t as practised as men at being turned down. As such, she says, they don’t learn some of the skills required to strike out on their own in business, such as “confidence and optimism, sales and marketing, resilience, and trace amounts of desperation.” To pursue romantic relationships, after all, is to risk repeated rejection, much like trying to raise significant amounts of capital to finance a start-up.

It’s not that women are biologically different when it comes to taking risks and dealing with rejection, but from a young age men and women learn to perceive risk differently. Nnaemeka says males chalk up rejection to external factors, such as poor preparation.

Females tend to internalize rejection and take it as a sign of lack of ability. But neither sex gets off scot-free: women’s internalization of feelings is more likely to lead to depression, and men are more likely to act out and turn to drugs and alcohol when they face rejection. Still, if you were the kind of person who couldn’t get a date in high school, don’t worry. It might have given you the tools to make a million dollars one day.


 

The benefits of rejection

  1. Say what?!
    In both the US and Canada, women are creating companies at *double* the national rate.
    There are 821,000 self-employed women contributing $18 billion to the Canadian economy.
    Between 1997 and 2002 in the US, an average of 400+ new women-owned firms were started every day, accounting for *55%* of new firm start-ups.
    Canadian firms run by women are creating new jobs at four times the national average rate.
    I could go on, but you get the point. The premise here is false from the outset.
    Then there's the supposed explanation for this falsehood, which makes several baseless and outdated assumptions: that men still do all the asking in romantic encounters, that somehow the skills the dating scene requires are the same skills people need to succeed in business, that the only 'practice at rejection' that counts when building business skills are the rejections on the dating scene…
    Even if we assume that Ms. Nnaemeka is referring to the lower number of women who are specifically "tech entrepreneurs" (which she starts off doing in her article, but then makes the sweeping statements about entrepreneurship noted above), and if we can get past the fact that she doesn't properly define what constitutes a "tech entrepreneur," we have only to do a quick web search to find dozens, if not hundreds, of women-led networking organizations designed specifically to address this. You can bet that these numbers soon will be surging, and it won't have anything to do with sending women out to bars to practice being turned down.

    Chandra Clarke, President
    Scribendi.com