This article is part of a series examining four themes tied to Global Entrepreneurship Week: Ecosystems, Education, Inclusion and Policy.
With a higher proportion of women than men reported to have left the labour market in 2020 – largely due to caregiving responsibilities during the COVID-19 pandemic – leaders have work to do to re-engage them in the economy. As vaccination rates rise, case counts decline and economies re-open, many of these women are faced with choices to return to the labour market or become entrepreneurs.
A report from the Kauffman Foundation looks at the relationships among motherhood, caregiving, the persistent wage penalty it carriers for women, employment and entrepreneurship. It shows that while many mothers become entrepreneurs to gain independence, a higher standard of living and work-life flexibility, they face many of the same challenges as employed mothers when it comes to juggling caregiving and household responsibilities with paid work.
The report argues that work-family policies, while not traditionally considered entrepreneurship policies, can have a significant impact on entrepreneurship and the re-engagement of women in the economy. These policies include paid leave, affordable and high-quality child care and flexible schedules for both entrepreneurs and employees.
During Global Entrepreneurship Week (November 8-14, 2021), thousands of organizations are hosting activities on these and other themes. If you are interested in hosting an activity but aren't sure what to do, please see our GEW Signature Activities or Ideas Bank with more than 100 ideas to inspire you.