Self-employed women are becoming an increasingly common fixture in today's business culture.
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As women turn to self-employment as a vehicle for achieving personal and professional fulfillment, many of our assumptions about self-employed women are being shattered. Here's what the research suggests about current trends in female self-employment.
The number of self-employed women has steadily increased over the past three decades.
Although everyone has assumed that the number of self-employed women has gone up over the past thirty years, the size of the increase might surprise you, especially when compared to the number of men entering the ranks of the self-employed. Over the past thirty years, the self-employment rate for women has increased by 33% while the male rate increased by a comparatively meager 2.5%. This dramatic rise in female self-employment demonstrates that in addition to experiencing more opportunities in business ownership, self-employment has gradually become an appealing option for modern women.
Self-employed women have more time for their families than wage-and-salary earners.
Although it runs counter to what many people thought they knew about female self-employment, self-employed women enjoy a better balance between work and family life than those who work for an employer. Studies indicate that self-employed women spend about 3.5 more hours per week in household activities than wage-and-salary earning women, and six more hours than men. With self-employed women successfully spending less time on work-related activities and more time at home, it's likely that self-employment will continue to be an attractive alternative for women well into the foreseeable future.
Most self-employed women are in midlife.
According to statistics, more self-employed women are between the ages of 40 and 59 than any other age groups. In age brackets (40-50) and (50-59) both age groups have the two highest percentages of self-employed women in business. This could indicate that many women wait to enter the ranks of the self-employed until after they have raised their kids or as a second career choice. However with retirement looming on the horizon for the baby boomer generation, the number of female self-employeds may experience decline in the coming decade unless more younger women take advantage of self-employment opportunities.