A few days ago the Wall Street Journal published an article about the results from a survey at a Microsoft Small Business event called Vision to Venture conference. The survey at this event found that 61% of women who own small businesses do no online marketing and 40 percent do not have a website. I read the results and naturally I was disappointed. Why is it that women continue to fall behind? But then as I thought about it, and investigated the source, I can say I don’t think these stats are representative of all women-owned businesses. Think about it:

  1. Microsoft could have an agenda releasing this survey.
  2. We don’t know where this survey was taken. Perhaps it was at a seminar or event all about how to take your business online. If that is the case you would expect most people attending to not yet have their business online.
  3. We don’t know whether Microsoft enticed women to fill out the survey by offering any special prizes or rewards. What if the prize was a chance to win Web design time to get your business a website? If you already have a website you might not bother filling out the survey.
  4. You get the picture – I can go on and on with different reasons to potentially doubt the survey.

So what’s my point? I think it is really important for everyone to understand that there are professional survey writers who know how to position a survey to get the results they want. Think about how politicians come out with survey results that always support them and their issues to a tee. I am going to say that I don’t believe that there is such a discrepancy between men and women in business when it comes to being online. I think that being online depends more on which generation you belong to than what gender you are.

AvatarSabrina Parsons

Sabrina has served as CEO of Palo Alto Software since 2007.