Posted by: ginalazenby | November 16, 2010

7 reasons why women start their own enterprise …

A statistic in the USA shows that 400 women a day are starting up their own enterprises – at four times the rate of men.

So why are increasing numbers of women branching out into the own businesses?

From what I read and learn from other women as I travel, I feel there are 7 reasons:

  1. FLEXIBLITY: women need to balance paid work with the caring and care-giving they are mostly responsible for in the home. As social scientist Dr Riane Eisler points out, this work is unpaid and unmeasured which means it largely goes unvalued in society but it is essential human work that underpins our whole economy. Many women find inflexibility in workplaces that remain unfriendly to family life so need to leave to gain more control over the hours and location of their work. Riane stresses that men are miserable too and anything that companies do to keep its female talent by making a workplace better for family life balance, then men benefit too.
  2. MOTHERHOOD: a Woman’s biological timing will influence her progression up the corporate career ladder for the primary career building years are the same as her primary fertility years. Many women are forced to make a choice in their late 20s or early 30s, and in countries with little paid maternity leave (like the USA), it becomes a stark choice between career or childbirth. Having your own business expands your work options.
  3. GLASS CEILING: women may be 45.3% of the workforce in Australia (50.5% in the USA) but they are not sitting in the company boardrooms in any great number. Women chair only 2% of ASX200 companies and hold only 8.3% of Board Directorships while in the USA they have only 11% of seats in Fortune 1000 company boards. If you want to be a leader, feel you are making a difference and truly have influence, then create your own structure to do that.
  4. MORE MONEY: women are paid less than men for the same jobs. If you want a fairer return for your efforts – take control of your salary and own the company!  In Australia, the gender pay gap means: female graduates get paid A$3000 less than males, women in full-time employment get paid 18% less and at the executive management level the difference is 28.3%
  5. CULTURE: corporations might have evolved over the last century but they were originally created by men for men who were supported by stay-at-home wives. For many the workplace is a competitive space and one where the masculine language is biased towards sports and military terms. Women favour and thrive in environments that are based on collaborative thinking and relationships. And it’s not only men who struggle in today’s corporate culture: Gallup research shows that 80% of people are unhappy at work – that’s 4 out of 5 people!
  6. CREATIVITY: women are immensely creative creatures and have much to contribute, and organizations benefit greatly where women are allowed to make that contribution. Many women report (studies support this) that their input is often not listened to and that their ideas are ignored until taken up by men who often put them forward without credit.
  7. EMPOWERED: that one words speaks volumes. Having your own business can be immensely liberating. Across the globe women who start their own enterprises are not only making a difference to family life but also, by realising their own innate potential, they are improving society for everyone. A study of 89 nations shows that the status of women is a better predictor of everyone’s quality of life than GDP.

Join us tonight in Sydney where a small circle of women are gathering to discuss our role in business and what changes we’d like to see in the world.  We’re sharing food in community then  having a creative, collaborative conversation.

See the invitation.

What do you think? Do you have your own business?

What other reasons do you think we can add here – I’d love your comment and inputs please.


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