International Women’s Day 2020 – equality in female entrepreneurship

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This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is each for equal. This means that an equal world is an enabled world. Each one of us can help to create a gender equal world

Running a business as a women can provide it’s challenges. Like many women, I chose the route of entrepreneurship partly because it offered flexibility around my kids. However, this can be a downfall because school holidays, child illness, sports days and concerts seem automatically to be my remit. It’s not that Mr Tyce isn’t helpful in these situations. He really is. However, I’m the primary carer by default and it feels like I have to call in a favour when things need sharing.

Pooly Louis just yesterday


Have I put myself in this situation by positioning myself as the “flexible” one? I can certaibly see that, as the main earner, Mr Tyce’s work responsponsibilities may well outweigh my own. And hang on a minute, I did vote myself in for this, didn’t I?!

So I want the versatility but I don’t? I want some of it? I want it on my own terms? Am I just an awkward bugger?

Interestingly flexibility around child care is cited as the number one reason for women with children starting a business. It is also the number one reason for limited business success*. What needs to happen here to achieve equality in business and entrepreunership?

International Women's Day
Does it HAVE to be like this?!


Maybe we need to own our reasons for starting a business a little bit more confidently? Maybe we’re using flexibility around child care to rationalise something that we feel would otherwise be off the table? And we need to be brave enough to call out gendered actions and assumptions. If the mental load & child care falls to me becuase I’m a woman of course that isn’t on. If it falls to me because we’ve agreed that’s how it will be then that’s fine and dandy.

If you’re a Mum and you want to start a business I would communicate your reasoning as truthfully as you can. If your main reason is flexibility around child care, expect to be the one with the lion’s share of childcare responsibilities and jump in with glee! If it’s not, be brave enough to say so in order to set expectations at the right level. don’t get me wrong – Mr Tyce plays a very important role in the running of the business and the family but things have changed a great deal over the years and will continue to change. Because I challenge it.

So when your in the midst of it, juggling kids, family, your business and elderly parents do question things. Do tasks fall to you because of assumptions based on the fact that you’re female? It doesn’t have to be a given and the more we question things the more progree we’ll make. Let’s turn those figuires in the Rose Report round my friends!

Happy International Women’s Day – what will you do you create a gender equal world?

*The Alison Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship, 2019

#Eachforequal #IWD2020 #internationalwomensday #womensday #genderequality #equality #RoseReport

2 Responses

  1. Nicky

    So interesting Helena, thank you.
    I no longer live with my children’s father and you should hear my friends and relatives now I am taking a full-time job. Their Dad had always had one!

    • Helena Tyce

      Well Nicky I think we have to deal with a certain amount of male entitlement for sure. But I think things are changing. Just keep shouting your corner and enjoy your job! 🙂

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