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Meraiah Foley PhD Candidate Supervisors: Professor Marian Baird Associate Professor Rae Cooper PowerPoint Presentation
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Meraiah Foley PhD Candidate Supervisors: Professor Marian Baird Associate Professor Rae Cooper

Meraiah Foley PhD Candidate Supervisors: Professor Marian Baird Associate Professor Rae Cooper

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Meraiah Foley PhD Candidate Supervisors: Professor Marian Baird Associate Professor Rae Cooper

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  1. Self-Employed Mothers in Australia:Pushed by inflexibility, pulled by opportunityPreliminary Findings Meraiah Foley PhD Candidate Supervisors: Professor Marian Baird Associate Professor Rae Cooper Discipline of Work and Organisational Studies University of Sydney Business School

  2. Self-employment is often touted in the popular media as the Holy Grail for mothers seeking to balance the demands of paid work with family life. Images: Coniville, N. “The Rise of the Mumpreneur”, Body+Soul Mums http://mums.bodyandsoul.com.au/pregnancy+parenting/parenting+tips/the+rise+of+the+mumpreneur,16775

  3. Self-employment is often touted in the popular media as the Holy Grail for mothers seeking to balance the demands of paid work with family life. But research on this group is scant, particularly in Australia, where the focus has largely been on women’s employment in the organisational context. Images: Coniville, N. “The Rise of the Mumpreneur”, Body+Soul Mums http://mums.bodyandsoul.com.au/pregnancy+parenting/parenting+tips/the+rise+of+the+mumpreneur,16775

  4. As a proportion of the working population, male business owners still outnumber female business owners in Australia. 12.7% (791,500) male compared to 8.5% female (442,300) in 2012.

  5. As a proportion of the working population, male business owners still outnumber female business owners in Australia. 12.7% (791,500) male compared to 8.5% female (442,300) in 2012. Employment growth by gender: 2002 to 2012 Source: BankWest 2012; ABS Labour Force Detailed Quarterly, May 2012

  6. Employment growth by gender: 2007 to 2012 Source: BankWest 2012; ABS Labour Force Detailed Quarterly, May 2012

  7. Work patterns by gender: 2012 Source: BankWest 2012; ABS Labour Force Detailed Quarterly, May 2012

  8. Work patterns by gender: 2012 Source: BankWest 2012; ABS Labour Force Detailed Quarterly, May 2012

  9. Business operator status by sex and child care provision status: 2006 Source: ABS 2008 (Counts of Australian Business Operators, Cat. 8175.0)

  10. Why focus on mothers? • Rise of the ‘mumpreneur’ narrative in the popular media.

  11. Why focus on mothers? • Rise of the ‘mumpreneur’ narrative in the popular media. • Significant evidence that it is motherhood, in particular, which carries a • particular penalty in the workplace:

  12. Why focus on mothers? • Rise of the ‘mumpreneur’ narrative in the popular media. • Significant evidence that it is motherhood, in particular, which carries a • particular penalty in the workplace: • Getting a job

  13. Why focus on mothers? • Rise of the ‘mumpreneur’ narrative in the popular media. • Significant evidence that it is motherhood, in particular, which carries a • particular penalty in the workplace: • Getting a job • Asking for flex time

  14. Why focus on mothers? • Rise of the ‘mumpreneur’ narrative in the popular media. • Significant evidence that it is motherhood, in particular, which carries a • particular penalty in the workplace: • Getting a job • Asking for flex time • Securing equal pay

  15. The motherhood penalty: finding a job • A recent real-world audit by researchers at Stanford University found • that women without children received 2.1 times as many callbacks for a job • interview as equally qualified mothers. “We found that evaluators rated mothers as less competent and committed to paid work than non-mothers, and consequently, discriminated against mothers when making hiring and salary decisions. Consistent with our predictions, fathers experienced no such discrimination. In fact, fathers were advantaged over childless men in several ways, being seen as more committed to paid work and being offered higher starting salaries. (Correll et al.2007)

  16. The motherhood penalty: asking for flex time • Researchers from Yale, Harvard and the University of TX found that male • workers were significantly more likely than female workers (among both • professional and hourly-wage earners) to be granted flexible working • arrangements for either professional development or family reasons. “The association between women and motherhood is so strong that even women who have proven themselves by achieving a high-status occupation and asking for further career training cannot overcome this actuarial mistrust of women workers.” (Brescoll, Glass and Sedlovskaya, 2013)

  17. The motherhood penalty: (un)equal pay • The existence of the “motherhood penalty” is well documented in the • United States, Britain, Canada and Germany (but not in Sweden and • Denmark). • Does Australia have a “motherhood penalty”?

  18. The motherhood penalty: (un)equal pay • The existence of the “motherhood penalty” is well documented in the • United States, Britain, Canada and Germany (but not in Sweden and • Denmark). • Does Australia have a “motherhood penalty”? • Hosking (2010): unexplained wage penalty of 6% per child • Livermore et al. (2011): unexplained wage penalty of 5% for the first child; 9% for two or more children.

  19. Who are the mumpreneurs?

  20. Why choose self-employment? • For many women, the relative lack of flexibility and autonomy in • organisational employment acted to push them out of formal employment.

  21. Why choose self-employment? • For many women, the relative lack of flexibility and autonomy in • organisational employment acted to push them out of formal employment. “I really, honestly don’t believe I could go out and get a job, given my current situation. I don't believe any employer would accept my position and my requirements ... I really, honestly don’t believe an employer would want me.” – Interview 37, Marketing Consultant, 3 kids

  22. Flexibility and autonomy revolve around three core areas:

  23. Flexibility and autonomy revolve around three core areas : “I kind of wanted to be available for the children… And I didn’t feel that my work and the hours required would be flexible enough for me to be available for the kids. And if I returned in a part-time role, and that was all I was really prepared to do, the types of work that I would be able to take on would not be challenging. I wouldn’t get the same job satisfaction.” – Interview 4, Architect, 2 kids

  24. Availability of care: especially in inner-city or remote rural areas; or not being able to afford it, especially with multiple children. Includes OSHC. • Lack of informal care networks. • Child care: Not wanting to use it full-time, though not judging those who do. • “Being there” or “Being available.” • Not wanting to rush: In a practical, logistical sense, but also metaphorically. • Guilt: Whatever you do, it’s never enough.

  25. Availability of care: especially in inner-city or remote rural areas; or not being able to afford it, especially with multiple children. Includes OSHC. • Lack of informal care networks. • Child care: Not wanting to use it full-time, though not judging those who do. • “Being there” or “Being available.” • Not wanting to rush: In a practical, logistical sense, but also metaphorically. • Guilt: Whatever you do, it’s never enough External Internal

  26. Disconnect with school hours. • Logistics: long commutes, tired kids. • External culture of face-time: Even in ostensibly family-friendly, “employer of choice” contexts, there is a sense of external pressure to be there. • Internal culture of face-time. Many women expressed an internal sense of pressure in being accountable, answerable to someone else.

  27. Disconnect with school hours. • Logistics: long commutes, tired kids. • External culture of face-time.Even in ostensibly family-friendly, “employer of choice” contexts, there is a sense of external pressure to be there. • Internal culture of face-time. Many women expressed an internal sense of pressure in being accountable, answerable to someone else. “Walk of shame”

  28. Perception of poor quality part-time jobs. • Sense of control over what types of work; which clients; building something meaningful. • Trading off higher pay for better quality; meaningful work. “It’s a big sacrifice to not be with your kids in many ways, so you want to be doing quality work… You need to be doing something you really like, and you feel like is really useful. I think it makes the value of the work, or the quality of the work, matter more.” – Interview 15, Consultant, 2 kids

  29. Motivating Factors: A push-pull view The constraints The lack of flexibility and autonomy, and the (explicit or implicit) expectations of organisational employment, combined with ‘good mother’ demands act as push factors for many women.

  30. Motivating Factors: A push-pull view The constraints The lack of flexibility and autonomy, and the (explicit or implicit) expectations of organisational employment, combined with ‘good mother’ demands act as push factors for many women. The opportunity Whether they felt pushed or pulled, most of the women viewed self-employment as an opportunity to create meaningful work, on their own terms. To be ‘role models’ for their children.

  31. Other findings: • 63% do not make regular contributions to superannuation. • 59% have never used the Australian government’s superannuation co- • contribution scheme (including 30% who were completely unaware of the • scheme) , even though the majority of the women in the sample were • earning below the income threshold in 2012.

  32. Other findings: • 63% do not make regular contributions to superannuation. • 59% have never used the Australian government’s superannuation co- • contribution scheme (including 30% who were completely unaware of the • scheme) , even though the majority of the women in the sample were • earning below the income threshold in 2012. • 46% of respondents did not consider themselves to be entrepreneurs, • including women running businesses earning more than $100,000 pa, • citing their belief that to claim the title of entrepreneur, one must be an • innovator, or create something risky (e.g. Richard Branson).

  33. Other findings: • 63% do not make regular contributions to superannuation. • 59% have never used the Australian government’s superannuation co- • contribution scheme (including 30% who were completely unaware of the • scheme) , even though the majority of the women in the sample were • earning below the income threshold in 2012. • 46% of respondents did not consider themselves to be entrepreneurs, • including women running businesses earning more than $100,000 pa, • citing their belief that to claim the title of entrepreneur, one must be an • innovator, or create something risky (e.g. Richard Branson). • About half said they would not consider working for someone else again, unless it was absolutely necessary to do so.

  34. Some policy implications: • Legislation needed to protect longer maternity leaves; more guaranteed access to (truly) flexible working arrangements beyond just early childhood. • More affordable, accessible quality child-care.

  35. Some policy implications: • Legislation needed to protect longer maternity leaves; more guaranteed access to (truly) flexible working arrangements beyond just early childhood. • More affordable, accessible quality child-care. • Better business advice, streamlined reporting requirements for sole-traders and microbusinesses. • Flexible business hubs for self-employed people; including on-site childcare. The usual suspects In the absence of major policy shifts:

  36. Conclusion: Shelley, M. “Meet the Mumpreneurs in the Business World,” The Daily Telegraph. 6 June 2011. http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/meet-the-mumpreneurs-in-business-world/story-fn6b3v4f-1226069634693

  37. Conclusion: Images: www.dreamstime.com; www.energytimes.com; www.dailymail.co.uk; www.sheknows.com; www.flickr.com; www.telegraph.co.uk