Small businesses in Australia are making up a large percentage of the economy, which is indicative of the fact that more people are opting out of the corporate lifestyle and creating businesses where they can feel more in control of their destiny. Many small businesses are run by women, which makes sense as women often look for more flexibility once they have children so that they can nurture their children while staying in the workforce.
Female entrepreneurship is on the rise, which is a great thing. However, what isn’t so great is that instead of providing women with the balanced lifestyle they are seeking, women are feeling double the pressure and not reaping the financial rewards.
This is because they are stretched between trying to grow and run businesses and taking on most of the responsibility when it comes to the day-to-day caring of the kids. In doing so, there is a constant feeling of inadequacy. Many women confess to feeling that they aren’t able to apply themselves to either the business or the kids and feel that they are failing in both.
What is the answer?
It’s no wonder then that the female entrepreneur’s business is stunted.
I believe that before women can feel truly empowered in their business and family lives, the way we think about men and their role in the workforce and family will need to change. In a large majority of cases, the husband takes on the role of the main breadwinner and his female counterpart is left to do the majority of the day-to-day caring of the kids, while working on the side.
If a child is sick and can’t go to school, in most cases, it’s the mother, not the father, who stays home from work or business. Unless nannies are employed, it’s generally the women who do the pick-ups from school, drop-offs to activities, organise play dates, make dinner, etc.
It’s no wonder then that the female entrepreneur’s business is stunted and struggles to gain the traction it needs to create the lifestyle that was the inspiration for its creation in the first place.
Our attitudes regarding women taking on a more significant role when it comes to being the main or equal income earner in the family are slowly starting to change. There are certainly examples of women who’ve created great businesses, so great in fact that their partners have left their corporate jobs to help them out in the business while taking on a more active role with the children. The popularity of TV shows such as House Husbands is a testament to the fact that attitudes are slowly changing.
There’s a long way to go, though, and I’m all for it!
Monica is the Managing Director of WordStorm PR. Monica founded the business 15 years ago after working as a producer for Channel Nine’s A Current Affair. WordStorm PR specialises in working with entrepreneurial driven, consumer and lifestyle brands.