As we celebrate International Women’s Day 2021, we’re using this opportunity to interview our Founder and CEO Sharon Broer to gain insight into her career path to founding Argus, the challenges she overcame and her dedication to uplifting other female entrepreneurs.
WHY DID YOU START YOUR BUSINESS AND WHAT KEEPS YOU MOTIVATED?
“I am intent on changing the narrative and equipping women to take their rightful place in a male-dominated world.”
I started Argus in May 2020. Having spent 20 years in 3 different practices, I decided that I wanted to work with my clients in a slightly different way to traditional firms.
Argus provides me the foundation to work with my clients on their future and not just be there to present them with historical tax bills.
My primary focus is on our clients. One main pillar for Argus is that we work ‘with’ our clients not ‘for’ them.
What might start off as daily bookkeeping, cash flow forecasts and budgets to support strategic decisions and business growth, ends up being a collaborative relationship where we strive to improve and deliver on complex projects and instil confidence in any personal investments.
HAVE YOU ENCOUNTERED ANY RELATED CHALLENGES IN YOUR CAREER ALONG THE WAY TO BECOMING A CEO?
I have been very fortunate here and not faced many challenges.
The first boss I worked for was incredibly sexist and I always remember my mum telling me that if I could work for him I could work for anybody.
The only other challenge that comes to mind is many years later, while attending a partners meeting at one of the practices the topic of conversation was whether my coloured mascara matched any underwear, with that out the way, we got on with the order of the day.
I always treated this tongue in cheek and took it with the spirit intended.
But, in hindsight, it was still inappropriate and I’m glad to be part of the movement challenging these moments and creating a society where this is not acceptable.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR WOMEN TO START THEIR OWN BUSINESS?
Women are entitled to the same financial freedom as men and are more than equipped to start and manage their own business. Below are my personal opinions on why:
Women can face a variety of challenges when climbing the corporate ladder – including gender bias, inequality, lack of support, negative mindsets and workplace cultures, high standards and family choices. However, it is important that men and women work together to raise awareness and eliminate some of these obstacles to ensure that the gender gap doesn’t continue to exist.
Women need to be part of this process by starting their own businesses, as a society we need to proactively address equality issues and help to increase diversity and inclusion.
WHAT IS THE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU COULD OFFER TO A YOUNG WOMAN WHO IS THINKING OF STARTING HER OWN BUSINESS?
Surround yourself with people who believe in you and will support you.
A strong supportive network makes it easier to take that step – be bold, be brave, use your personal brand to set you on the journey of a lifetime and enjoy every minute of it!
THE THEME OF THIS YEAR’S IWD IS #CHOOSETOCHALLENGE, HOW WILL YOU BE HONOURING THIS?
A challenged world is an alert world.
Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day. I will be raising my hand to look for inequality and “call it out”.
As part of this year’s International Women’s Day, I took part in a Your Business Community (YCB) Expo to support and encourage other women. Please feel free to join the ongoing conversation.
It truly was amazing to see some many proactive fabulous business women at the Your Business Community Expo event.
As we support each other in our businesses time will come when we not long speak about “business men” or “business women” but rather “business people”
IN YOUR OPINION, HOW CAN WE ENCOURAGE MORE WOMEN TO PURSUE ENTREPRENEURSHIP AS A CAREER?
Generally speaking, women are perceived as more risk-aware than men.
As an industry we have a responsibility to support female founders. Running a business can be daunting and lonely, but creating spaces for females to network and learn from other business owners can be beneficial.
Here is a handful of the groups that I have felt supported by, since starting Argus:
Whether you’re a freelancer, sole trader or small business owner finding information on how to get funding for your venture is an important place to start.
At Argus, we want to support entrepreneurial women in their journey. Using my experience as a woman in a predominantly male industry coupled with the team’s general expertise in growing businesses, we understand the guidance needed to make the big step to start out in business.
HOW IS ARGUS HELPING TO SUPPORT FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS?
Women entrepreneurship can lead a tremendous social change, making women financially empowered and independent.
I work with a number of women entrepreneurs and aim to support them in their business growth. Having recently founded my own business I am actively seeking to support many more females venturing out to achieve their goals. If you yourself or someone you know is in need of an accounting provider or financial advice please make an introduction.
WHAT ADVANTAGES DO YOU HAVE AS A FEMALE CEO?
I believe female entrepreneurs are more collaborative, women generally are. I am involved in a fair amount of peer to peer networking and find collaborations are generally instigated by the women.
Nowadays there are many women happy to mentor and support other women so role models are plentiful.
Women are better than men at soft skills which are essential to every business.
To discuss anything in this article or a potential business venture you have in mind, my team and I would love to speak with you and see how we can support your goals.
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch!