Business women with successful careers are often shocked at the inequalities that still surround employees who take their full maternity leave.
When it’s time to go back to work, the choices available to women can be quite limited, with a common complaint being that the career break has affected the woman’s chances of promotion (35% of mothers said they felt discriminated against on their return to work).
On returning to their former positions and finding their career not as it was, quite a few mothers take the opportunity to start a business of their own.
Although the flexibility that employing yourself offers is great for working around childcare, it’s worth considering the financial implications.
If you’ve just come off maternity leave and you’re embarking on a new business, your first step should be to get a CreditExpert credit check. The results of these credit checks will determine your suitability for claiming some sort of business-supporting finance.
10 advantages of starting your own business post-maternity leave
1. You don’t have to compromise on the flexibility of your working hours. Negotiating flexible hours with your employer is not the straightforward process you are lead to believe it will be. By law an employer must consider flexible hours, but the reality is that this inconvenience (on top of the year you’ve just had off) is often a reason to push you into another position, one that will suit your flexible working hours better (i.e. suit your employer better).
2. You can make your business hours fit around childcare.
3. You can work from home.
4. You will save money on childcare, money you can put into your business.
5. There is plenty of free information on how women can set up their own businesses in blogs like this one. With a bit of experience, there’s more chance of finding out what you need to know for free, rather than having to pay for expensive training courses.
6. If the business is your own and you choose your own business sector, there’s a higher chance you will be enjoying your work more.
7. It’s rewarding. You’ve had a baby and started a business!
8. If you decide to have another baby, everything will be in place. You won’t have the financial worry of returning to employment a second time only to find your chances of promotion diminished further.
9. You’re the boss and you can work at your own pace.
10. If your business is successful, you potentially stand to earn more money.
There are disadvantages as well obviously, such as the slow period while you establish your business and get the orders in. However, in the long term, self-employment is a great, flexible option for mother’s returning to work who feel let down by the system.
Obviously, the real answer to inequality in the workplace is better laws to prevent it, but until then, women in business need to fight work-related prejudice as best they can. Establishing a successful business is a great start.