How the post-COVID world will be friendlier for female entrepreneurs
It has been over a year since organizations switched to working from home in the aftermath of the pandemic, and the model’s effectiveness for business operations has been well demonstrated.
Working from home across the industry has also brought about changes in attitude that will prove important for women entrepreneurs. These changing perceptions are shaping a more friendly environment for businesswomen.
Since many of these new standards are likely to be part of daily life after COVID, these changes in attitude will welcome more women into entrepreneurship as well.
Acceptance of startups entirely remotely
Before the pandemic, if one thought about starting a business, decisions about an office space were usually one of the top priorities. Even when presenting his business, questions about his office space tended to be one of the most frequently asked questions.
In the pre-COVID-19 era, if they were said to be working from home with a remote team, it took away the credibility of the business. There was an unconscious bias against women working from home and the impulse to think that they were only doing small tasks that did not bring in a regular income. A physical office space has elevated the “seriousness” of a business.
The pandemic has made the question obsolete. There has never been a better time than now for businesses operating on a completely remote model. With global businesses of all shapes and sizes working remotely, the acceptance of the “work from home” model has given entrepreneurs a sigh of relief.
Now you can run a fully virtual business with no physical office space and no remote team spread across all geographies, and no one will bat an eyelid.
Today, it is your work that speaks. The work you have done and the work you present establishes the credibility of an entrepreneur. Professional networking has also gone virtual and is happening on social media networks.
A robust digital presence keeps you in touch with your business network and eliminates the hassle of inviting clients to a physical office for meetings.
Standardization of maternity and care
Working from home has replaced work-life balance with work-life integration. Working from home, juggling personal and professional life, has introduced a more holistic acceptance of the domestic responsibilities of a professional.
The common reality we face and the ever-changing guidelines inevitably make talking about a race or chore a part of our professional conversations. This makes colleagues and clients, in general, more empathetic towards the role women play in their lives as mothers and caregivers.
I see people recognize the effort – something that was not appreciated before. As a woman entrepreneur, apologizing for taking care of household responsibilities or children is no longer frowned upon.
It is no longer badly perceived and does not detract from the professional capacities of a woman entrepreneur. This creates an encouraging environment that allows women to thrive as entrepreneurs. It saves a lot of mental energy that they might otherwise spend trying to present themselves as serious women.
An inclusive environment for mompreneurs
At the same time, at home, family members are more understanding than ever. They are more empathetic and appreciate efforts to balance household responsibilities and work.
Witnessing firsthand – the woman in the role of an entrepreneur and a mother – they are now motivated to step in and help them achieve balance. There is more support and encouragement at home.
Equally and equally distributed household responsibilities have reduced the burden of expectations and roles assumed to be on women. Moreover, outsourcing tasks with detailed planning is also helpful.
Working from home also makes entrepreneurship more inclusive for mothers. Previously, I was in the office for 10 to 12 hours at a stretch, which prevented me from participating in my children’s lives.
Now, being physically present, I can monitor and supervise while being present at work. Being around also offers great opportunities to instill good habits and valuable life skills in children.
Seeing you at work gives them a chance to understand your other responsibilities. New moms, in particular, can allay worries that their new business will take them away from their child’s childhood.
The new normal has relaxed many of these barriers that existed for women entrepreneurs over all these years. The changes introduced by COVID-19 have transformed the business landscape, and many of them have created favorable circumstances for women entrepreneurs.
The ease of starting and running a business from anywhere and the changing perceptions of women’s responsibilities have made it an opportune time for women to enter the business world.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)