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Feminism 2.0: a Tectonic Shift in Russian Business
October 25, 2019 17:47


(Source: https://newsroom.mastercard.com/ru/files)

Until now, it has been difficult for Russian women to achieve a really great success in business without the support of influential male relatives. The story of Tatyana Bakalchuk shows that a woman’s place in business in Russia is changing.

For the seven years in a row, Forbes  have published a ranking of Russia's 25 richest women. The main point of this year is the appearance in it of a new member with a fortune of a billion dollars. The second place after the permanent leader of the rating   Elena Baturina was taken by Tatyana Bakalchuk, the founder of the largest online store in Russia - Wildberries. Unlike the famous husband of Elena Baturina, the husband of Tatyana Bakalchuk Vladislav   did not have either capital or connections - he worked in a company selling computers and providing Internet access. Tatyana, a teacher of foreign languages, started her online store in a small Moscow apartment. After the birth of the first daughter, teaching became difficult, and the need for money grew. So in 2004, the company Wildberries emerged, which today processes up to 500,000 orders a day. 

Initially, the couple was engaged in the sale of women's clothing via German Otto and Quelle catalogs. Today, the site presents various categories of goods, including toys, sports and baby food, electronics, books, etc. Every month, about 60 million people visit the site mainly from Russia (95%), Ukraine, Belarus, Germany and the United States. In 2018, the company's revenue amounted to $ 1.7 billion.

What is happening now can be called a tectonic shift. Despite the fact that there are a lot of women in Russian business, they - independently, without the support of influential and wealthy husbands - have not managed to achieve a really great success for a long time, expressed in the leading positions of the Forbes list. Perhaps, we can blame the patriarchal system of Russian life, which assigns a woman the role of a housewife, the guardian of the family and  the husband’s assistant, but not his equal partner with her own interests and goals. It is possible that extremely harsh conditions for doing business in Russia also play a role. In addition, the business community, regulatory and law enforcement agencies, where men dominate, have always been mistrustful and jealous of women trying to do their own business.

Nevertheless, we obviously live in the era of feminism 2.0. It is connected not only with a new round of the struggle of women against male chauvinism and violence in the framework of the scandalous #Metoo movement. The fruits of a long value transformation that began at least in the 60s of the 20th century, when women began to systematically struggle with the secondary role imposed on them in society, make themselves felt.

However, the situation around feminism 2.0 is characterized by a completely rational sympathy for feminist rhetoric on the part of men, formerly either hostile or indifferent to the problem. Everything is explained by the growing customer orientation of the business. And 50% of clients, whatever one may say, are always women. Today, without understanding the needs, habits and moods of women, it is unlikely to achieve tangible success in promoting products and services.

Read More Articles about Russian Business

 



Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Russian business Russian women Russian oligarchs   

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