Across the Asian and African continents I see a range of different experiences when it comes to women and work:
- Korean women subscribe to the notion that work versus marriage is an either/or choice;
- Chinese women, being part of a culture where everyone has access to work regardless of gender, don't know any other way except to work and thus feel a demand to excel (hence the term "tiger mom");
- Indonesian women have husbands who fear that bringing their wives into the business could result in losing them;
- Indian women's husbands put their businesses in their wives' names to make them feel secure, yet the husbands are reluctant to let them participate;
- Arabian women have to find ways of doing business that conform to cultural dictates (in Saudi Arabia, for example, women are not allowed to drive);
- Kenyan women are highly entrepreneurial, even though the culture puts them in charge of the family unit and allows them limited access to education and business opportunities.
Any of these scenarios could easily be found to varying degree in any culture or nationality. Still, these are actual observations I have made during my travels in these countries.
It never ceases to amaze me how these same women are able to rise above their economic, social, cultural, and personal challenges and find the solution in network marketing.
Our business truly is a beacon of hope increasingly shining across both continents. In fact, it is because Asian and African women often face challenges greater and more fundamental than those in other parts of the world that their hunger to build a home-based business here tends to go deeper as well. Thankfully, network marketing is such a malleable business model that they somehow find a way to make it work under virtually any circumstances.
- To those women torn by the notion that they must choose between career and family, network marketing provides the bridge that enables them to do both, and do them well.
- To the tiger moms who have the drive to excel, network marketing is the perfect superhighway for their aspirations.
- To those women with conservative husbands, network marketing affords them the flexibility to do something for themselves while at the same time fulfilling their roles at home.
- To those women who are still confined to the sometimes repressive dictates of culture, our business is a lifeline they didn't even imagine they could have.
Yes, Asian and African women can thrive in network marketing. I have seen it happen many times over, starting with my own story. This is why I'm so passionate and committed to providing women with the best opportunity possible.
DONNA IMSON is executive chairperson of an international
network marketing company based in the Pacific Rim.
She is an accomplished network marketer, a much
sought-after speaker and a role model for