Why we need to get rid of "mumpreneurs" once and for all
To clarify, I’m not talking about the people. I’m talking about the term ‘mumpreneur’.
In today’s business world where almost anyone can start a business relatively easily thanks to technology, the demographics of a business owner is quickly moving away from a majority of white, middle-aged men living in big cities.
This has been particularly positive in closing the gender gap in Australia.
Source: NSW Department of Industry
But it’s not just women who can take advantage of the opportunities to start their own enterprise. Other atypical “groups” are also making their mark.
We are seeing young people like the Mark Zuckerbergs of the world rise to the top.
Regionally located businesses are infiltrating the social media feeds of people all around the world. Indigenous artists achieving global reach with apps such as Yulngu.
But why is it that female business owners, who have children, are subjected to a term which thrusts her personal life into the business world?
The term also opens up the question as to whether these hard-working, persevering women are running “serious businesses” or just undertaking their hobbies.
It can unfortunately invoke imagery of mothers sitting at home sewing cute baby clothes to sell on Etsy, or blogging about #mumlife.
It seems to miss the group of self-employed women, who may have children, providing professional and consultancy services – to which there are plenty.
Women already face serious barriers to employment returning back to work from maternity leave. Many are demoted, have their hours cut or are sidelined from promotions.
Others feel under pressure to work even when their child is ill or when childcare arrangements fall through.
This combination of inflexible work schedules, poor-quality part-time jobs or the discrimination they faced in seeking such work conditions in fact have led them to start their own businesses.
But they’re not all corporate escapees.
These are women who are ambitious, creative, intelligent and have the ability to carve out a niche in their market and find solutions for businesses and consumers.
If I owned a business and were also a dad, I’m sure no-one would call me a dadpreneur.
It’s about time we all started asking, why can’t ‘mumpreneurs’ just be entrepreneurs?