Who wants to be a mumtrepreneur?

If being an entrepreneur is the new black, being a mumtrepreneur is the new Gucci handbag.

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So many well-educated and successful women are having kids and finding out that going back to an inflexible working routine just doesn’t work for them or their families.  And with the internet-age making setting up a business and leveraging it so much easier, they are thinking “I could do that.  And I think I could do that in a way that works with my family and the life I want to lead”.

In lots of ways I think this is completely awesome

Women can define the work-life integration that works for them.  But part of me is really troubled by it. And I guess this all comes down to what the motivation for this move is.  Because if women are starting businesses because the workforce doesn’t accommodate their family lifestyle, doesn’t the workforce need to change? I’m worried that a whole lot of smart women are leaving traditional workplaces, rather than challenging the work practices that don’t support women’s lives.  Rather than changing the structures, they are opting out.  And that really reduces choice going forward.  And it potentially puts great stress and risk on women and their families.  (I say this knowing that this is exactly what I have done, so no judgement)

But maybe this is where we are all heading?

I read an article in Success Magazine, about what they called the “YouEconomy”.  It said that by 2020, 40% of our workforce will be composed of independent contractors. The full-time job is dead.  Part of me thinks this is great – greater flexibility to define your work-life integration.  But I also feel uneasy about it, as I think it might lead to insecurity and exploitation, and potentially lower incomes.  It’s all about power and control really, and who will have that as this new system develops.  Perhaps this will lead to a rise in Unionism again, as workers need to unite to advocate for fair rights. But it will need to look different from how it was in the 70’s and 80’s.  Our world is now far more globalised than it was then.  I think there is potential for people to really come together. To create working lifestyles that are diverse and work for all of us in our different life stages and different desires.  But then, I am an eternal optimist 🙂

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