Women have always surpassed the suffocating roles in society hence women are turning to entrepreneurship.
They have been stepping over the threshold and ascertaining their identity in office spaces. They have been standing tall and proud after a hard day’s work at home, living out their freedom through all the love and effort they put in every chore. They have been getting their hands dirty in the fields, ploughing farms, or fixing machines.
They have been toiling in their houses, looking after their families day and night even when it gets no recognition. They have always been more than all the labels and stereotypes that are thrown at them.
Recently, more and more women have taken an interest in entrepreneurship. Many women are quitting their jobs to start their businesses, creating their unique products and services. They are setting their own hours and demanding compensation they know their work deserves. They have been thriving through professional independence.
Indeed, the world today has progressed enough to have more resources accessible for all genders. Women are also reflecting more on their identities, unlearning all the internalized expectations society has enforced. Women’s entrepreneurship blooms naturally in such circumstances.
However, there are always positive and negative reasons behind every change. It is important to look at both so we are more aware of the societal structures around us and rebuild them in newer, safer ways.
Today, we will discuss all the factors because of which more women are turning to entrepreneurship.
Before going into why women engage in entrepreneurship, we must examine the work environment around them.
Even in today’s times, gender inequality in the workplace makes itself obvious in many ways. There are fewer women in the workforce as compared to men. Among the women working, most do not enjoy the same salaries as their male coworkers, even if they work the same hours. There are fewer promotions available to women, and they might not have access to equal professional mobility.
All these factors have been highlighted more because of COVID-19. So many women have lost their jobs and have not been re-employed at the same rate as men. It has a lot of impact on their physical and mental states, not to mention their finances.
There is also a lack of resources that fulfill women’s needs, such as menstrual leaves for those who get their periods. There is also a poor maternity protection mechanism when it comes to women in the informal sector. Sexual harassment in the workplace is still a major issue, and unfair power dynamics can often lead to women receiving all kinds of abuse.
The office space is still inherently patriarchal, and women have to operate under unfair circumstances. These structures only cater to the needs of one portion of the employees while leaving the others fearful of the fragility of their position. They don’t experience the same long-term growth in their professional life as men, which can be more than just discouraging.
So, it is no wonder that women turn to entrepreneurship, seeking to be businesswomen over employees. They want to have more professional autonomy and get the facilities that they deserve. Even if this might be the change they need, the existing structures that contribute to this change must be remade.
While existing gender inequality in the workplace is a prominent factor in why women are turning to entrepreneurship, there are many more nuances underneath it. Gender inequality does not look the same for every person. In the tiny everyday encounters women are forced to go through, it can be both visible and invisible.
It also extends beyond the workplace and shows up in personal and public realms, impacting women’s lives. There are also multiple positive reasons behind this movement towards women’s entrepreneurship.
Here are 6 possible reasons why more women engage in entrepreneurship these days:
The persistent gender pay gap robs a lot of working women of the financial compensation and other benefits they deserve for their hard work.
But entrepreneurs are in charge of their own business and can decide on a payment they know they have earned. They can fairly charge for their hours and be content that they have a stable position as the boss. They will not be on the suffering end of a prejudiced hierarchy and will instead directly have a say in how their work is received.
Businesswomen also get to build the facilities and resources that the corporate world doesn’t provide to employees fairly. Although the larger work system is still male-focused, they can grow professionally with their companies, unrestricted by internal office structures.
But entrepreneurship can at least be the start to deconstructing the first of these harmful structures.
Better time management
Women are expected to multitask between both work and home. If they go to the office, they are expected to look after their families once they come back, even if they may be tired. Offices often don’t have facilities and policies that safeguard the comfort of working mothers.
It can be hard for women to manage their professional lives, while also making time for other things, be it families or hobbies. They are often made to feel like liabilities for having these other priorities.
Women engaging in entrepreneurship have more control over their times and can adjust their schedules as per their needs. They can choose when to work from on-site and when to work from home.
They can take breaks whenever they require and spend that time doing other non-work-related activities that make them feel happy. They can set their own work hours to avoid overworking themselves and make time for their loved ones.
The corporate system often aligns productivity with self-worth, especially for women. Entrepreneurship can help build the practice of resting, taking time for yourself, and focusing on mental health amidst all the work.
Workplaces often don’t offer promotions to their female employees on the same scale as men. There are fewer women on committees, so the decisions that are taken often cater to male employees.
As entrepreneurs, women can change that. Businesswomen have a direct say in the functioning of their companies and can transform their ideas into reality. They don’t have to force themselves to fit into someone else’s plans. Instead, they can create their own plans within which they can unabashedly take space. They can directly benefit from the results of their hard work and take pride in their progress.
As much as things are changing, companies still struggle with building safe office spaces for women. A large part of this is because female employees’ opinions are not reflected in the planning, and their troubles are brushed away.
Businesswomen can take these every experience and build safer workplaces, where there is a stricter no-harassment policy and complaints are not taken lightly. They can also create better female-health policies, such as menstrual leaves, paid maternity leaves, etc.
Women’s entrepreneurship can help in understanding the gendered nuances of office work, so existing harmful structures can be undone. Businesswomen can promote working environments that ascertain women’s autonomy and make space for their health needs, be it physical, mental or emotional.
The corporate working life can often drain one’s passions and inner drive. The intense working hours can leave you with no time to pursue personal projects.
A lot of women are turning to entrepreneurship to bring these creative projects to life. Businesswomen are found in every field, be it handicrafts, art, cosmetics, etc. This can be a great way to earn money through artistic endeavours and having direct control over products. It will combine both technical skills and creative skills to result and build something wonderful.
Even if women’s entrepreneurship isn’t related to their passion, it can make more time for those hobbies. It can ignite the spirit of creativity and motivation within a person and positively impact their lives. After all, work isn’t done only within office cubicles, but also in warm corners of a house where paint-stained hands touch the canvas.
It can be so easy to neglect emotional and mental health in our daily work lifestyles. The existing office system can often push employees to measure their selves on the productivity scale and work themselves to the ground without any rest as a result. In this, breaks and rest are only earned after endless efforts.
Entrepreneurship serves as a door that allows women to step outside of this mindset and give space to their self-worth without these factors weighing in. They can cherish their hard work without needing anyone else’s unwanted validation. They can take breaks simply because they wish to and respect the limits of their bodies. Businesswomen know that their 100% looks different every day, and they are just as proud of themselves on the rest days as the workdays, maybe even more.
Thus, it is clear that there can be many reasons why women are turning to entrepreneurship and benefiting from it.
As incredible as it seems, entrepreneurship isn’t the solution to the larger problems. It is most important first to reevaluate and remake the existing problematic structures. It can be done by creating women-centric committees, having regular mental and physical health, check-ins for employees, lessening the gender pay gap, providing fair promotions, etc. We must do this across all professional sectors, arts, sports, law, technology, etc.
There must also be grants and loans accessible to women starting their businesses and local supporting committees. Even as more women are turning to entrepreneurship, they are still a very small portion of the larger entrepreneurial population compared to men. There must be more opportunities available for businesswomen looking to expand their careers.
Special measures should be taken to safeguard women in the informal sectors, such as a sufficient wage system and enough leaves. No work is less work, and we must acknowledge the efforts of domestic workers as much as we do the office employees. There should also be a lot of promotion for women in the traditional cottage industries and female farmers.
Thus, we must create circumstances where women don’t become entrepreneurs out of force but because of the will of their hearts.
A woman at work is brave, hardworking, and unstoppable, whatever she may be doing.
Whether these women are turning to entrepreneurship, looking after their loved ones, getting an education, performing on stage, or skydiving into the wind, they are amazing. They embrace their freedom and step into their lives knowing that they have been built by their courageous hands.
They do their jobs with full honesty, bask in the bliss of hobbies, spend time with people they care about, and rest without feeling the slightest guilt.
They allow themselves to learn from their mistakes and grow with time. They look after themselves and know that self-care is most important. They bloom the brightest and they do it with pride.