When it comes to finding a job in Europe, not all citizens are born equal. If you are Spanish you have a one in four chance of being unemployed, rising to one in two if you are young. And if you are a young woman in Spain? The chances of finding yourself among the unemployed are even higher, at 54.7%. Now however, young Spanish women are finding their own solutions to the crisis, discovering the value of enterprises that has resulted in a record 800,000 businesses being set up by women in the past five years.
“The crisis allowed women to seriously consider becoming businesswomen, something many had never thought of before,” said Joan Torrent Sellens. In the past decades Spanish women have advanced in government and the public sector, but are still behind in setting up enterprises, creating less than 20% of businesses. When analysing the same figures during the crisis, Torrent Sellens found a surprising result: the number of businesses created by women had nearly doubled during the crisis, to just under 40%.
“These days you can act like a big businessman without having a lot of employees,” said Torrent Sellens. “The crisis allowed women to ask: ‘Why do I have to be a director at a multinational, earning a third of what my male counterparts are earning when I can create, my own business and lead my own project?’ The crisis gave them an alternative, their own way of breaking through the glass ceiling,” he added.
Adapted from an article by Ashifa Kassam,
The Guardian, 3 February 2014
I. Answer the following questions using your own words but taking into account the information in the text.
- a. Why are young Spanish women now starting so many new businesses? PAR 1.
- b. What are the benefits of owning a business if you are a woman? PAR 3.
II. Are the following statements true (T) or false (F)? Identify the part of the text that supports your answer by copying the exact passage on the answer sheet.
a. The rate of unemployment for all women in Spain is higher than 50%.
b. Spanish women have advanced in certain sectors during the past decades.
c. Women can only be successful in business if they have a lot of employees.
III. Find a synonym for each of the four definitions below from these six options.
chance rising resulted in set up surprising alternative
IV. Choose a, b, or c, in each question below. Only one choice is correct.
1. Setting up a business is the strategy that Spanish women have used...
- a) to earn a higher salary than men.
- b) to solve the crisis in Spain.
- c) to avoid unemployment.
2. In the past decades, Spanish women...
- a) have not made serious advances in creating private businesses.
- b) have created a lot of jobs for men at the government and public sector.
- c) have made advances in 20% of enterprises in the public sector.
3. If women create their own businesses they can...
- a) become managers at multinationals.
- b) lead their own business initiatives.
- c) get a lot of employees in their enterprises.
Part B. Write a 130 to 150-word composition.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of starting your own business?