Editor’s note: This post was republished with permission from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation’s Growthology blog.
Until work culture shifts and better policies are embraced, dialogue on the challenges working mothers face is the best path to change.
It was great to see members of the media—ironically all female—weigh in on the “Labor After Labor” report I penned with Alex Krause and released last week. I wanted to take a minute to highlight some of my favorite articles—from Forbes to Glamour—and give you a list of the ways these women of the working press furthered the conversation on the challenges of working moms and the unique hardships of mother entrepreneurs.
1. Employee or entrepreneur, there is no easy escape from the challenges faced by working moms.
This piece, by Lydia Dishman, examines how mothers can be attracted to entrepreneurship as a way to achieve a work-life balance. However, mother entrepreneurs face additional challenges when balancing a growing business and growing children.
2. The “prevalent yet contradictory myths about entrepreneurship.”
Over at Inc., Kimberly Weisul lists the reasons why starting a business is so difficult for mothers. One reason is the unequal balance between couples in taking on family and work responsibilities. For example, “In businesses started by married men, 60 percent of spouses take on some sort of support role in the business. This is the case in only 35 percent of businesses started by married women.
3. How can small business, large corporations, and government help working moms?
Geri Stengel wrote two articles citing “Labor After Labor” (here and here). Her first article incorporates the voices of entrepreneurs that have faced the dual challenges of motherhood and starting their own business. Stengel echoes the paper’s emphasis on the importance of parental leave, egalitarian parenting, and affordable childcare and how different entities can help working moms.
4. “So many working mothers negotiate for all the right things but still can’t get over the cultural stigma.”
Writer Jennifer Gerson Uffalussy speaks with Alison Taffel Rabinowitz in the Glamour article about the importance of women talking to other women about the problems they face in the workplace. The importance of women having honest conversations about their work, its challenges, and potential solutions highlights the need for mentoring. As the “Labor After Labor” report mentions, women entrepreneurs cite the lack of mentors as a major hurdle.
Let’s keep the dialogue going about how to best help strengthen mothers as parents, employees, and entrepreneurs. Join the conversation on Twitter using #LaborAfterLabor.
Emily Fetsch is a research assistant in Research and Policy for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, and assists in the processing of new grants including grant research, grant write-ups, setting deadlines, and reviewing financials. She also assists in writing literature reviews and informative briefs, and conducts quantitative and/or qualitative analysis on the economy, policy, and entrepreneurship.