I was a shift worker when I became a mum. I worked in finance and our clients were mostly overseas. At first I thought my work hours would be perfect for our family.
I’d stay with my baby during the day and work at night when my husband was home.
Severe exhaustion and a multi-million dollar error woke me up to the fact that it just wasn’t working. I quit (before they could fire me) and began a desperate search for something, anything, I could do from home.
That’s how I became a “mumpreneur”, from a time of complete and utter desperation. Becoming a “mumpreneur” wasn’t a wonderful time during which I realised I could start the business I had always dreamed of or invent the product I had thought of years ago.
Becoming a “mumpreneur” was a last resort and being one was much harder than I thought it would be.
The rise of mums seeking self-employment opportunities has been highlighted as a concerning social problem in the first major study of "maternal self-employment" in Australia. Dr. Meriah Foley, a former journalist with the New York Times wrote her doctoral dissertation on this topic. It's called, "Mothers in Company: The entrepreneurial motivations of self-employed mothers in Australia".
Writing for the Sydney Morning Herald, Dr. Foley found that inflexible work schedules, poor quality part-time jobs and discrimination were the main reasons women sought self-employment.
Just because mothers have become so good at fixing the problem of balancing work and family, doesn't mean the systemic issues that exist shouldn't be addressed.
Dr. Foley says some women were made redundant while pregnant or on maternity leave and the finance industry seems to be over-represented in cases such as this.
Those Two Girls on what NEVER to say during a job interview. Article continues after this video.
Findings from the Australian Human Rights Commission confirmed that women with children still face high levels of discrimination in some Australian workplaces.