According to a recent poll of Australia’s leading business women, taking some time off work to start a family, travel or find oneself is just what’s needed to propel a path to entrepreneurship or change careers altogether.
In late 2011, research by Bankwest using Australian Bureau of Statistics also showed that women are starting small businesses at twice the rate of men.
Thirty-six per cent say a break spurred women on to try something different, 55 per cent believe taking time out could be positive as it enables women to reassess their life and career, and 87 per cent agreed that taking on parenting responsibilities could actually be a catalyst to becoming an entrepreneur.
Carolyn Creswell, 2012 Telstra Australian Business Woman of the Year and Managing Director of Carman’s Fine Foods, admitted she was “in labour and punching out the last email” before her first child. She said women who were business owners should plan and put things in place before taking a career break – “It’s amazing how dispensable you are. When you have great people at work, the business just keeps going.”
The poll on the impact of career breaks also shows that:
It is also interesting to note that while 44% of respondents say they experienced pay inequity, nearly half find asking for money intimidating.
So we quit our jobs and give this entrepreneurship thing a go so we can pay ourselves whatever we like. Right?
In another research by the Australian Women Chamber of Commerce, they found that the majority of women business owners do not pay themselves a wage.
Karen James, General Manager, Women in Focus, Commonwealth Bank, said: “A career break can provide the opportunity for a person to discover their passions. It’s our experience that many women have used their career break as an opportunity to assess their purpose, which often becomes the catalyst for them to launch their own entrepreneurial venture. At that time we encourage women to seek out social communities, like Women in Focus, to stay connected and get the support they need to grow and thrive.”
Hopefully, by connecting with other seasoned entrepreneurs, we can learn to ask for what we’re worth so we can pay ourselves a good wage. Otherwise, what’s the point?
The latest poll was undertaken in the lead-up to the national finals of the Telstra Business Women’s Awards in Melbourne on 14 November. The Awards are in their 19th year of celebrating the achievements of outstanding Australian business women.
The eight women who are finalists for the title of 2013 Telstra Australian Business Woman of the Year are:
· Jeannine Biviano, Deputy Director General, Department of Trade and Investment (NSW);
· Sonja Cox, Director Operational Performance, Policy & Planning, Dept of Corrective Services (WA);
· Laura McBain, CEO Bellamy’s Organic (Tasmania);
· Dr Julia Newton-Howes, CEO CARE Australia (ACT);
· Cheryl Shigrov, Founder of Precious Cargo Education Pty Ltd (SA);
· Sadhana Smiles, CEO Harcourts Victoria (Victoria);
· Helen Summers, Owner of Helen Summers Optometrist Eyecare Plus Darwin, (NT);
· Rosemary Vilgan, CEO of QSuper, (Queensland).
We’re sure these ladies have no problems asking for money.
When was the last time you asked for a raise?