Maternity leave options and female entrepreneurship
This is the final post on the 3 part series that explored motherhood and how the employers can contribute their quota to making the transition to a new parent fairly easy for working parents. I conducted a short survey to explore the reality of exclusive breastfeeding relative to the maternity leave options available to working mothers and parents. 17 respondents made up of 10 females and 7 males shared their opinion on the topic, this was because a varied view was needed to gain an open-minded insight into this short study.
Disclaimer: This survey was conducted pre-covid era.
“Women in these markets are deemed as necessity-driven entrepreneurs, spurred by a need for survival despite their lack of financial capital and access to enabling services.” -Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE)Tweet
To make this an easy read, it was broken down into 3 parts.
- The first part explored the current work policies and whether in the viewpoint of workers it helped mothers to breastfeed exclusively for 6 months;
- the second part assessed what companies are doing differently from others and areas of improvement; and
- finally this last part will focus on flexible work options and most preferred form of maternity leave packages including a brief discussion on the growth in female entrepreneurs.
@mophie227 “Women in these markets are deemed as necessity-driven entrepreneurs, spurred by a need for survival despite their lack of financial capital and access to enabling services.” -Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE)Tweet
64.7% of the respondents opted for the minimum 3 months maternity leave with the option to work flexibly for the next 3 months. This would probably make it easier to breastfeed their babies for the 6 months and hopefully start weaning them successfully before fully resuming work. Taking into consideration the challenges and delays some mothers face with weaning it would be advisable for an additional month of flexible working conditions to be extended to mothers.
35.3% of the respondents did not mind an extended 3 months on a half salary just to achieve exclusive breastfeeding or successfully wean off their kids before they get back to work. It is essential for the mother to have that peace of mind for her potential to also be maximised at the workplace.
On the other end, none of the respondents opted for the option of enjoying an additional 3 months on no pay. This is possible evidence that money is also needed for the upkeep of the babies and employers are encouraged not to put parents in a difficult situation to chose between earning income to care for the family and caring for their kids with a clear and sane mind.
The final part of the survey explored briefly the relationship between work place policies and entrepreneurship among women. Majority (82.4%) of the respondents believed that inflexibility pushed mothers out of necessity to venture into entrepreneurship to survive and earn income for their family’s upkeep whilst making time for the kids too.
According to the Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE), Ghana has the highest percentage of female entrepreneurs globally. Ghana has 46% of its business owners being women, coming ahead of Russia (34.6%) and Uganda (33.8%) which is a good position compared to the United States which ranked 23rd with 25.5%. Although the reason for this is linked to the natural inclination of women to engage in entrepreneurship. A key statement that caught my eye from the report was that: “Women in these markets are deemed as necessity-driven entrepreneurs, spurred by a need for survival despite their lack of financial capital and access to enabling services.” There might be a number of factors impacting on the growth in female entrepreneurship but I am sure that achieving the best for one’s family is what spurs mothers on to entrepreneurship. A mother who is unable to achieve flexibility at the workplace will strive to create her own flexibility.
Personally entrepreneurship would never have crossed my mind if kids never came into the picture.
Finally, one comment caught my attention from the respondents which is the role that the State can also play in helping working mothers. Once again, this would have to be controlled to prevent abuse of this assistance should it come up in future. I hope the state steps up to contribute their quota to working parents. Everyone has a role to play to make this a reality.
Thanks to the respondents and thanks for joining me on this 3 part journey on motherhood and work life. What do you think about this? Tell us about it in the comments section or email email@example.com