Nurture By Nature
My grandparents gave birth to five children, ten grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. Needless to say, my grandmother has had decades of experience raising and nurturing her family. Even without practice, arguably, women are inherently more nurturing than men. This tends to play out in different ways.
Studies suggest, “women are more likely to sacrifice time for themselves and their social lives for their businesses, whereas men are more likely to sacrifice time with their spouse and time with their children. Women are also more likely to hire their children, while 27 percent of men said that it would be better if their children did not work for their business,” according to Bank of America’s 2014 Small Business Owner Report.
Furthermore, the ability to nurture relationships is crucial to family and business. Creating a customer-focused culture is the center of any successful business model. Let’s face it: men still run and own a majority of businesses.
In my opinion, this is why customer relations often takes a back seat to other business priorities in companies with predominantly male leadership.In observation, women-led companies notably place a larger emphasis on nurturing customers and relationships. This indirectly impacts customer satisfaction ratings and more.
Freedom and Flexibility
Most women I know want to have children. Thanks to President Bill Clinton’s agenda: 12 weeks of maternity leave is mandatory in all 50 states under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA). But paid maternity leave is not.
In the U.S. we fall behind on the short length of protected maternity leave and lack of wage compensation for a maternity leave of absence. “In a report by the International Labour Organization (ILO), the majority of the United States (excluding two states) received a failing grade in providing women and new mothers support entering motherhood.” (The Huffington Post)
“In at least 178 countries around the world, paid leave is guaranteed for working moms, while more than 50 countries provide wage benefits for fathers, according to the ILO. The United States … [among a few others] provide[s] no type of financial support for mothers…”
Extended and paid maternity leave in the U.S. is making inroads thanks to some larger companies in Silicon Valley. Google, Facebook, Reddit, Yahoo, Twitter, Pinterest, and Microsoft all offer between 12 and 18 weeks of paid maternity leave. While these companies are hopefully paving the way, the harsh reality is that only 16 percent of US companies offer paid maternity leave.
As most know, having children is a full-time job. And most women don’t want to merely have children; they want to raise them too. When you’re working for someone else, the problem is exacerbated. Good luck trying to get work off for your daughter’s ballet recital or spelling bee contest. When you work for yourself, you have options – and that includes not missing out on life’s most precious moments.
Self-Employment Is Not For Everyone
I’m not suggesting entrepreneurship is right for every woman. Owning a business is hard work and, at times, can be more stressful than collecting a paycheck. But if you want to develop both professionally and personally entrepreneurship is a career path worth pursuing.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Sarah Dunn is the co-founder of We Live Limitless, an online community for Millennials who are passionate about doing work they love with people they like in a place they enjoy. Sarah is a California-raised, free-spirited xenophile. She’s been to 22 countries and 22 of the 50 states. Connect with @welivelimitless on Twitter.
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