We did not reach gender equality in professional life yet and women are also underrepresented as entrepreneurs. Being a mum and and a founder: more and more mothers see entrepreneurship as an opportunity to combine family- and work-life.
Unfortunately, it is often difficult for mothers to fully develop their professional lives. Kita places have long waiting lists, structures are only changing slowly and the well-anchored role models of our society are not making it easier.
Only 1.2% of the parents in Germany both work full time. (Source) This may be partly because the redistribution of the tasks of “earning money” and “raising children” only takes place very slowly. It is often the case that the husband is a sole earner, spends a lot of time at work and does not spend much time with the child. This may not always be desired from a male perspective, but in the classic role allocation, this is the way it is supposed to be.
A new way of entrepreneurship
Self-employment goes along with flexible working hours and home office. This type of work is very compatible with the family. No foreign determination by the employer, no unnatural expectations of the childless colleagues. This is especially attractive for mothers. Along with mothers who are founding companies comes a new way of thinking about entrepreneurship: less exit, more sustainability. Slower growth, but steady growth. A few more hours with the children are more rewarded than a 70 hour working week. Reflecting on what you really want from life and thus reconcile family and work.
Sounds quite good, right? We asked Kerstin from the Munich based label WOMOM how being a mum and a founder can be reconciled in reality.
Being a mum and a founder: 5 questions to Kerstin from WOMOM
1. What are your children doing while you answer these questions?
My child is sleeping right now – my main working time has been from 8 pm on for three years now;)
2. What is your typical day (if there is any) as Founder & Mother?
There is no such thing as a typical way – “survive this day” became the motto. No, joking, everything rarely goes according to plan, but I think so it is with every start-up and also with a child. Two babies;) You never know what the next day will bring, even if you have organized yourself and made plans. But by now I have become friends with it and take everything as it comes. My daughter has been in kindergarten for a month now, so now I have more structure and from morning to afternoon a few hours for me and just regular working hours. Before that, I cared for her for three years, WOMOM always ran this time in parallel or on the side. Checking emails for a short time, when she was playing or sleeping, etc. I only had typical processes and “correct” working hours in the evening.
3. How are you perceived by your environment and society, do you feel a difference to founders without a child?
I think everyone is founding a company differently. And every start-up and company have different structures and different fundamentals. Of course, you often hear “how do you do it next to a child?” or something similar. And yes, of course, sometimes it’s harder or more challenging because you basically have two babies to take care of, but is it so different without a child? Maybe, maybe not. Founding a company with or without a child is always a challenge and an adventure. In general, unfortunately, there are still some “prejudices” in the working world towards mothers. Women with children are generally still underestimated or misjudged in the job.
4. Would you say that your children inspire you in your Womom everyday life or do the little ones have a positive influence on the business elsewhere?
They definitely have – the unplanned pregnancy during my thesis in communication design triggered the project WOMOM. Without my daughter, our label would not exist. But even so, our children influence the WOMOM everyday life. The inspiration for the topics we gather from the experiences with our children. WOMOM is growing with them and so to speak.
5. Do you have tips for expectant mompreneurs?
This question comes often. Honestly – my only tip, for any kind of founder: Just do it! 6 years ago I never thought to have my own business or a child;) But – life happens! Sometimes you just have to let life happen and see what it brings.
For a little more togetherness
Not only the economy separates “women” and “mothers”, but even the fashion industry also does that. Kerstin and her co-founder did not understand that. With WOMOM, they are now closing this gap and making mother’s themes available to every woman with their super stylish design – for a little more together.
Best of Luck!