As women continue to move into the business world, many leading ladies have found themselves with some tough decisions. In a previously labeled man’s world, women face a unique problem when deciding to build a family. Where it might be possible for a man to have a child and return to work a day or two later, it is much more difficult (and sometimes impossible) for women to do the same.
Many women have felt the pressure to choose between starting a family and work, especially business owners. The greater the responsibility, the harder it becomes to take time off from work for maternity leave and later balance time.
The Family and Medical Leave Act guarantee most female employees some amount of maternity leave—up to 12 weeks (unpaid). But the harsh reality is that female business owners do not have the same luxury. It’s not uncommon for these women to only have a few days or weeks of “rest” while remaining connected from home, fully returning to work while still in recovery.
While some amount of work can be re-assigned to top executives or managers, business owners’ opinions and decisions are often still needed on a fairly frequent basis. Many small business owners keep regular communication with clients as well, so often this communication will either continue as regular and/or the clients will be informed of the maternity leave.
Of course, life can often take an unexpected turn. Sometimes the baby might come early, have to be delivered via C-Section, or it may take longer than expected to recover physiologically. This makes it even more difficult for females in charge to transition and balance.
Unfortunately, these challenges have discouraged some women from entrepreneurship, and some entrepreneurs from starting a family. Hopefully, as women continue to move more into the role of business ownership, they will begin to feel more support, and can network ideas for balancing new life and work.