The book entitled The Business of Women: Marriage, Family, and Entrepreneurship in British Columbia, 1901-51 by Melanie Buddle highlights some of the most important contributions of women to the Canadian business and history. Particularly, the book explores women in business cycles, and how this has generally translated to improvement of business in Canada.
Perhaps, the issue of women’s contribution to the economy of the country has been given prominence in the book bearing in mind that “…women sole proprietors (are) the fastest growing segment of the Canadian small business landscape” (Buddle 2). The book is more or less of a call for women to continue with their efforts to not only build themselves economically, but also develop their respective countries.
Another point of consideration from the highlights of the book is that women are not only engaging in business for the purposes of developing themselves and the country, but are also enrolling in educational sectors for purposes of becoming business professionals.
This book fits well in the course under study that is Northern Enterprise: Canadian Business and Labour History. Development of Canadian business requires participation of all stakeholders. The fact that women form a large segment of the Canadian population, they are indeed expected to act as cornerstones in the growth and development of various sectors in business.
The book also attempts to fully explore as well as analyze the role of women in Canada and especially those that are either directly or indirectly aligned to business management. As a matter of fact, the author is quite categorical that indeed, women have crucial role to play in business development since they are well placed in society with the much needed business knowledge.
However, it is apparent that the book significantly portrays women as major contributors of business in British Columbia. In addition, the book notes that women who are in self employment while at the same time running various business units have been fully recognized compared to their male counterparts (8).
Therefore, it is imperative to mention that the book offers relevant piece of information especially for women who are interested in engaging themselves in the business world. It is also an important starting point for Canadian government in building a good history and business development in the country.
Thesis and basis of the book
Over the years, women have been victims of inferiority complex. However, they are slowly coming out to assert their relevance in society. One of the most important steps that they have taken is to start off business projects and other income generating activities. The bottom line is that women have slowly been pushed from their inferiority positions into entrepreneurial careers (Brush 67).
In addition, Brush asserts that 45 percent of women entrepreneurs who have become successful have excelled because they have enrolled themselves into various academic fields (67). For this reason, therefore, education is an important component of success in women business.
Canada is not an exception, and in essence, the book by Buddle Melanie incorporates this fact of education and women in business. The basic point that is brought out by Buddle Melanie in her book the business of women: Marriage, Family, and Entrepreneurship in British Columbia are the assertiveness of women in entrepreneurial business and importance of education in making their business in successful.
Therefore, “…the profile status that comes of women in business is of people who cannot succeed; however, with incorporation of education and devotedness to succeed, women are coming out…” (Buddle 76)
Women have come to own businesses in various parts of the world (Kurtz & Boone 160). In the United States of America, for instance, there are more than 10 million firms that are owned by women. This is a clear indication that women are slowly taking up matter of developing their own countries through entrepreneurship.
This information is corroborated by information brought out by the study book that more than one million women in Canada own business. As per the year 2010, there were more than 800,000 business owners who were women.
Hence, the rate of growth at which women own businesses in Canada is 60 percent and it is definitely higher than that of men. This supports the statement that owing to supporting factors such as education and overall skill and knowledge in business management, women are slowly taking their position in business growth in Canada.
The study book is clear on the 5Ws namely who, when, what, where and which plus an additional how concept. The book is clear that women are being talked about and the issue is current. Importantly, the issue of women taking up their positions started as late as year 2008 in Canada (Buddle 59).
The concept of which is addressed by mentioning right from the start that women are engaging business as a way of survival and development of the country. On the same, the idea of how is addressed by noting that education is important in development of women in business.
The author is seeking to achieve quite a number of goals. First, women must take up their positions in developing global economies. Secondly, rather than seeking formal employment, self employment can serve as a big remedy to their bedeviling problems.
Third, education must always be incorporated in developing their countries through business. Hence, a total of three arguments are highlighted as major; however, there are numerous sub-arguments that have also been discussed in the text.
The discussions as put by the author are of high quality and well researched. With the general theme being women empowerment in business, Mathu (123) points out that India has had a similar situation, and with corroborated efforts which included holding conferences, women have come up to participate even in micro enterprises.
Buddle takes the same direction of suggesting salient measures which if are to be followed to the letter would make women in the society more accommodated and participative.
Buddle in her book about women and business is clear on some particular points but lacks enough emphasis on others. For example, there is enough analysis when it comes to matters of businesswomen in British Columbia and sex segregations in self employments.
However, when it comes to how they can come above men in business, virtually all arguments are based on opinions rather than hard facts. As would be analyzed, she is somewhat skewed on some areas while appearing fair in others.
For example, she seems more skewed to portraying women as people who will eventually raise above men in general development and business growth. She acknowledges that for women to be above men, they must first of all think like men. This in itself is framing men as quite superior when it comes to matters of businesses management.
Even though the arguments are clear and are quite understandable, there is some sense of bias in arguments that are furthered by the author. There are five major arguments that are highlighted under three major goals as highlighted. These are the caliber of women in business in Columbia and to a larger extent Canada, marriage issues of women plus business, careers for women, alertness of business girls, and how to think like a man.
It is clear that the issues under discussion are pertinent and quite relevant. However, it is also clear that men are featured little in the discussion, and to some extent, women are encouraged on how to move above men. According to Worell (1139), a skewed analysis is often used if the author is keen on giving a particular perspective. It is therefore arguable that Buddle is keen on portraying women as powerful and whose efforts can never be ignored.
However, she does this selectively and at the end ignores the crucial part played by men in any country. In the last point that the book looks at, Buddle (372) points out that women are at a position to be above men. This analysis is clear that the sole focus of the book is on how to give women powers that are above their male counterparts.
There is no particular society that can be built by one gender alone. The two genders have critical roles that can never be ignored. For example, men are often associated with heavy sectors or areas that need mental, physical and emotional energy. On the other hand, women are most associated with sectors that only require mental energy.
This is because they are built light or incapable of handling hard parts of the society; save for a few women. Buddle in her book about women in business wants to portray them as crucial players in business and especially entrepreneurship. This point is biased in the sense that it lacks evidence that shows that men are unable to handle as effective as women can.
This skewed writing about women is highlighted to go even in other sectors such as informal education. For example, Worell (743) writes that the methods for feminist mentoring should be strong and which can withstand test of time. In addition, they should be taught on issues that are more than what men are taught with a sole reason that they are critical players in the society.
This is the kind of skewed writing that Buddle in her book about women and business in British Columbia takes. Writing about Women entrepreneurs: leading the charge, Buddle argues that there is need to level average pay women get to be equal to that of men if not to supersede (8). This can best be termed as biased analysis of the two genders.
It cannot fail to be noted that the fact that the author is a feminist, she skews towards favoring women in business. While it cannot be ascertained as to whether the author has ever encountered hardships in the course of her growing, it can be argued that the sentiments are drawn from historical injustices women are perceived to have received over time. These injustices are like being regarded as inferior gender and which cannot participate actively in the society.
However, some elements of Buddle’s writing can be termed as fair or not biased. Her book has two major parts. The first part looks at the census data where she looks at gender, age, family status, self employment and class. This part is based on evidence and not mere speculations or skewed writing.
For example, she basis some of her argument on the Canadian Families project and goes ahead to challenge some of the assumptions that have been put regarding British Columbia women (25). Therefore, it is clear that there is evidence of some of her arguments while her criticism of some of the census data and other things are based on real statistics.
It is her second part in the book that she puts lots of analysis that to some extent can be noted to be skewed. All in all, she puts quality in all what she does by use of evidence and researches. The differences come when she is trying to qualify her data by use of opinionated arguments which to some extent wants to put men in bad light and women as the future in business.
Arguably, this book is unique in the sense that it focuses on the emerging trends in the fields of business. It is quite clear that Buddle wants to portray women as equally able players in the business world. However, this is largely informed by the current trends in entrepreneurship.
This area is often ignored and even for the ones that look at the progresses women have put in development of the world, rare do they look at possibilities that they are the power behind major developments. The book looks at disparities that exist between different people and especially in gender.
However the book is unique in the sense that it looks at disparities in development and business ownership. Moore (12) is specific that women do not hold much of business ownership; however, this is bound to change as women get enlightened through enough education.
However, there are certain emerging issues that perhaps, Buddle in her book on women and business, should have gave more emphasis. For instance, even though there are some fair analyses of men in business, the author ought to have given them credit for being part of the success story in women entrepreneurship.
The excellence of women in business can only be informed by a fair playing ground that has been laid by men in society. History put men as the real players in development, and it becomes near impossible to have women take up all of a sudden ignoring their male counterparts.
On the rest
Buddle is clear that women have always taken keen interest in business. Even though there are inevitable hindrances to their achievements, general perceptions about who should take charge in business have to some extent, affected the success rate of their businesses.
This book is specific on women in British Columbia. Therefore, it can be concluded that women in other countries may not have been part of the analysis. Nonetheless, looking at the way information has been analyzed, it can be argued that the argument in the text is a reflection of the general standards of women in business.
In nay case, History has been against women in business especially in terms of cultural beliefs and values. With the changes that are experienced in the business world today, this status quo is likely to change.
Brush, Candida. Growth-oriented women entrepreneurs and their business: A global research perspective. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2006.
Buddle, Melanie. The Business of Women: Marriage, Family, and Entrepreneurship in British Columbia, 1901-51. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2011.
Kurtz, David & Boone, Louis. Contemporary Business 2009 update. Belmont: CengageBrain Learning, 2008.
Mathu, Anuradha. Gender and development in India: The Indian scenario. New York: Taylor & Francis publishers, 2008.
Moore, Carlos. Small business management: An entrepreneurship emphasis. Belmont: CengageBrain Learning, 2005.
Worell, Judith. Encyclopedia of women and gender: Sex similarities and differences and the impact of society on gender, volume 2. California: Academic press, 2011.