Five Reasons Women Work for Themselves
Women are triggered into being their own boss
By: Karen Dent
Divorce, bereavement or missing out on a promotion are pushing middle-aged women from work and into starting their own companies, says new research.
It now takes more than just the “glass ceiling” which stops women reaching the top of their company which is the deciding factor when they consider becoming their own boss.
The research by Newcastle Business School graduate tutor Nicola Patterson may be useful to companies looking to keep their top women executives. She said: “It is no longer enough to suggest that these women either jumped the corporate ship or gained new wings.
“All of the entrepreneurs’ career transitions were triggered by an event, or an accumulation of events, which simultaneously drove them away from employment and into the arms of entrepreneurship. The glass ceiling is still there, but is no longer the only decisive factor for women.
“A trigger event would be a divorce or a bereavement in the family.
Perhaps the woman didn’t get that promotion at work or the men were progressing a lot quicker than the women were.” Patterson, who looked at a sample of North East female business owners aged from 45 to 55, believes firms seeking to retain their staff should consider the mixture of personal and professional reasons why women leave the workplace.
These issues also have an impact on how business support organisations deal with female start-ups. “It is vital that enterprise support services are equipped to deal with the issues and problems that women may bring to the start-up phase and those which may emerge as the business begins to grow,” she added.
North East-based Women into the Network (WIN), which chose Ms Patterson’s research as an award winner at the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship’s annual conference, said the study supported many of its own findings.
WIN director Dinah Bennett said: “Some women have always wanted to be their own boss, some have no option but to give themselves a job because they cannot find employment suitable to their needs.”
Five reasons why middle-aged women go it alone
- They suffer a bereavement.
- They go through a divorce.
- They are passed over for promotion.
- They observe men progressing more quickly in their firm.
- They want more independence and control.
Tell us: Why do you work for yourself?