Why Can't Men and Women be Business Partners

Sometimes I completely disagree with decisions but some times you have to let them see it through
Sometimes I completely disagree with decisions but some times you have to let them see it through

Ok so this first thing I want to say is that I am NOT a MAN Hater... Far from it. This Hub is being written to help me figure it out. I will admit, I am an A type personality and an entrepreneur. That said, I have been terrible at choosing male business partners. This is an attempt to examine why.

In the past 5 years I have built two separate businesses with two completely, what I assumed, opposite male business partners. One very good looking a little edgy, kind of the wanna be rock star type. The other the very conservative more the button down and polo type, very smart and gregarious, able to gain your trust. However, BOTH instances ended in financial disaster on for me personally.

In the first situation, I brought a business opportunity to a male business partner with the intent of obtaining venture capital. This worked well, until .... the golden rule took effect. Not the one about treating others with respect and the way you want to me treated. NO... the one that he who has the gold makes the rules. Yes, through a few corporate gymnastics, my position in the company was compromised. While these maneuvers were technically ILLEGAL, here is where the GOLD comes in. In order to prove, that these actions were highly Illegal it requires legal actions and if they have a lot more GOLD then they can just simply wait you out. Or of course in this particular case, the leopard doesn't change his spots. They end up in prosecution for even greater wrongs. AND with any luck someone with more GOLD will put an end to the behavior.

What continues to baffle me is that while there are numerous situations to the contrary, I presume, what seems to be prevalent here is that male ego takes over. Now I understand that our society has expected men to be the leaders in business. But society has changed!!! Women have established themselves as competent contributors in business. Frankly, women, from my own experience, tend to work harder, are much better at multi-tasking and certainly manage the stress of work and home much better. Some of this is the result of the fact that we are still trying to prove something. There truly is a glass ceiling that is still present in business today.

Thankfully, it is diminishing and it tends to only be prominent only in relationships with men over 40. Younger men have been raised in a society and families where women's accomplishments were acknowledged and appreciated.

Barbara blazing the trail!!
Barbara blazing the trail!!

Thanks to the women that truly cut a new road for us to follow. Barbara Walters was the FIRST woman anchor.  Rumor has it that Harry Reasoner wouldn't even acknowledge her presence off camera and he received all kinds of ribbing from his colleagues about "How he needed a woman to co-anchor!!"Today there isn't a single news broadcast across the nation that doesn't include a woman and sometimes several women as a part of the team.

Mary Kay Ash built one the largest cosmetic empires in the world and yet, while she held the title and had the track record, the members of her own board treated her with disrespect and belittled her opinions. Thankfully she held true to her passion and never wavered. The list is immense of the true renegade women that believed in their dreams and held true to their course.

I am thankful not only for these women but for the fact that our children seem to be somewhat oblivious to these concerns. This issues seem foreign to them as they have been raised in a more colorblind world. They don't see gender preferences and they don't see color as a benefit or a weakness. They look to a persons' values apart from other criteria.

I may be completely off base here in my assumptions but since this is not the first time that I have experienced this particular situation I think that there may be something to it.

My most resent business partner relationship developed from my desire to build a company in a retail market in which I had limited experience. The proposal was that I would provide the initial investment capital in exchange for his contribution of a list of deliverables based on his area of expertise. For this we agreed to equal ownership. Unfortunately, this did not happen. I put the money in and he took the money out. He isolated me from critical relationships telling them that I was too busy to meet with them. HUH?? This was a way to assure his position of authority. My patience ran out when he actually sent me an email message titled "FROM ABOVE THE GLASS CEILING" I don't know, help me out here, but I think that is inappropriate.

This has nothing to do with sex it has to do with gender. What causes this phenomenon?

I have tried all the various approaches .. allow them to think its their idea, boosting their ego so they don't feel threatened, befriending their spouse so that there isn't any conflict or concern externally but nothing seems to have worked out very well. I have successfully managed both men and women and this has never been an issue when the position of authority has been established, it has only been an issue in seeking equality.

I do not have the answer but it does make me skeptical. I do see male/female business partnerships that work, but what makes the difference? If you seem to know please share your comments.

Comments 7 comments

brad 6 years ago

How long have we know each other, 20 years? Maybe you have an overall man selection problem. You like the first impression, good looks, personality and the appearance of money doesn't hurt.

Maybe you need a security check and a second opinion before you get in too deep with these guys in any situation.

You have the goods and they see it but you don't see the men for who they are until it's too late.

Maybe next time find a man that doesn't have all those things you already have- looks, enthusiasm and knowhow but just honesty, work ethic, a wife and some Gold.

tradingxyz profile image

tradingxyz 6 years ago

Interesting, things are changing for women...think about where women were 50 years ago in the business world and where they are today...this positive trend for women will continue into the future...perhaps you just stumbled onto the wrong types of guys...or perhaps going forward you should partner with a woman...or maybe you were so eager to get into the business venture that you did not spend more time thinking or getting to know about the person you were getting involved with..but even if you go into business with a woman, you may still see similar traits that you have seen in men...my feeling is just forget about the past if you can and spend more time looking for the right person to go into business with...male or female does not matter..look into their minds and hearts

Vntmktdad 6 years ago

Hello again. I wonder at times what values many people live by in the business world. Certainly there is a portion of the environment that is dog eat dog, but it seems to me there is a greater portion that is all about "me first". Trying to partner with these people, be they man or woman, is a receipe for disaster. Add to that that I have never scene too many partnerships survive long term in business. For whatever reason the needs going in to the partnership morph over time and if the partners are not dynamic enough to morph with it then it falls apart. I have found there needs to be one lead partner for it to work long term. The male female dynamic is one that I have found is as much personality as it is pre concieved sterotypes when we were younger the book cover mattered more. When we age we find the content of the book is more important

ColeMartin profile image

ColeMartin 6 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

True true!! Where are the ethics? In business and just life in general. When did our values change to me first.? Thank you for you comments and for reading

Bob 6 years ago

So what are you looking for in a business partner. I am looking for someone I trust, a person who is willing to put into it what I am. Once who is focused. One I can truly share my fears, failures, and success with. One that I can talk with, work through challenges with. One who knows that there are going to be good days and bad ones. One who is always there good times or bad. A person that I can bounce thoughts off of and that will give me the truth back. Also I am looking for someone who is real. And want to work with some one who is focused and someone who can truly say failure is not an option. I am looking for some one who is in it for the long haul, some who is excited about getting up each day and wanting to build for the future. My passion is to help others, leave a better place then I left behind, and share the good things in life with others. When it is all said and done, people will remember me as making a difference in the life of others and my family. If you can be this type of business partner, then we could be good business partners together.

I am an intense person, focused, but not always sure that I am headed in the right direction. I know what I want to accomplish, yet sometimes need a little encouragement to make it happen. I am not afraid of hard work or long hours. I am not perfect by any means, and I am forgiving and caring of others.

Rony 3 years ago


I am 38 professional male . female business professional.

anonymous 14 months ago


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