‘Senior women more likely to consider starting a business’

Business Woman


Some 72% of working mums at senior executive level are considering setting up their own businesses, according to Workingmums.co.uk’s annual survey.

An analysis of the survey of over 2,000 women found that while 58% of working mums said they were considering setting up their own business, this figure rose to 72% among women who were at the most senior level – either director/head of department level or senior executive, managing director or chairman level.

Over half of these women were actively doing something about it with 35% in the early stages of setting up their business.

Some 48% of the senior women wanted to work part time. Some 81% said they regularly logged on outside their normal working hours. A third were looking for more flexible opportunities.

Almost a third [32%] earn more than their partner, but only 22% said they split the housework equally with their partner. Some 59% said they did most of the housework.

Some 66% said they had to work harder to prove themselves against men. This compares with 59% of working mums generally.

Senior women were more likely too to say that when their flexible working request had been turned down their employer didn’t seem to even consider their request. Some 17% said that, compared to 12% of working mums generally. Under flexible working legislation, employers have a duty to deal with requests in a ‘reasonable manner’.Examples of handling requests in a reasonable manner include: assessing the advantages and disadvantages of the application; holding a meeting to discuss the request with the employee; and offering an appeal process.

Some 29% of senior women whose request had been turned down said it was turned down due to a reason not allowed under the legislation, compared to 27% of working mums generally. Some 21% said they had been forced to leave their job due to their flexible working request being turned down, compared to 18% of working mums generally.

Senior women were more likely to say they would consider Shared Parental Leave than working mums generally [46% as opposed to 36%] Forty per cent of those senior women who would not consider it blamed financial reasons, with 42% saying enhancing SPL would make a difference.

Other findings were:

– Half as many senior women were doing job shares as working mums generally [just under 2% compared to 4% generally]

– 7% of senior women who had been made redundant thought this was because they had gone on maternity leave; 7% said they thought it was because they were pregnant and 10% felt it was due to them being a working mum

– homeworking was the form of flexible working valued by most – 42% said they valued it most

– 7% of senior women had a partner who works part time; 23% had a partner who works flexibly

– 64% said they struggled with holiday and after school childcare, significantly more than the 57% of working mums generally, despite 70% being in households which had an income of over £50K.

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