As 2021 rounds the corner, working women worldwide have taken massive strides in blurring restrictive gender roles and giving modern family structures an egalitarian twist. No longer are the days of exclusively-male-identifying breadwinners and female-identifying homemakers. Now, more father figures than ever before proudly claim the title of a stay-at-home dad, while moms nationwide drift from the carpool lane to the boardroom.
While women in business have radically redefined notions of womanhood and cast aside the 1950s housewife archetype, US businesswomen occupy only five percent of leadership roles among the S&P 500 companies. Though women-identifying employees comprise 50 percent of the workforce, as of recent stats, only 25 percent hold senior positions in public companies.
Experts attribute this gap to an array of factors, including underestimations of female talent, societal conditioning that fails to prepare women for the trials of entrepreneurship, and challenges posed when balancing the second shift of motherhood. Unlike male-identifying corporate leaders, businesswomen are expected to slip out of their business professional pantsuits and change into their second uniform (an apron and a burp rag) once the clock strikes 5 pm.
For those mothers without stay-at-home spouses, the odds of burnout surge. How? After conducting presentations, meeting with clients, and writing reports, many women hoping to adhere to some traditional tenants of motherhood will clock out and commute to their second shift. Upon arrival, they will cook for their families, clean-up messes left behind during their 9-to-5 workday, and tuck their little ones into bed, leaving working moms with virtually no time to unwind.
With sharp distinctions between the playroom and the boardroom, many working mothers struggle to balance their professional and personal responsibilities, leaving them with a Sophie’s-choice-esque decision to make: Do their family-planning aspirations or their career ambitions take precedence?
Fortunately, the surging popularity of eCommerce businesses has eliminated the need to choose, allowing women in business to flourish as multi-dimensional individuals and shatter the glass ceilings caging them in. How so? Instead of bending over backwards to meet the standards of both “shifts,” women business can intertwine their roles of “mother” and “career woman” by working from the comfort of their living room couches. Here, they can tend to their young children, breastfeed, and prepare lunches while making a livable wage.
Those moms and dads hoping to launch an eCommerce business and capitalize on these flexible work schedules will need to ensure their eCommerce SEO strategy is up to par. Remember, a thoughtfully-devised eCommerce SEO strategy can boost conversions, drive brand awareness, and ensure a satisfactory customer experience.
The importance of reducing the gender gap in business
Women maintaining leadership roles in the eCommerce industry can inspire other women to pursue business, which is a step in the right direction. eCommerce promotes household financial stability and allows an aspiring entrepreneur to pursue their dreams without deprioritizing their commitment to their children.
Is this all? No. Let’s delve into how eCommerce swings open doors for working women, thereby reducing the gender disparity in the business sector.
Women can harness the power of a “side hustle”
As previously mentioned,a 9-to-5 work structure isn’t always sustainable for working single mothers. Along with excluding single mothers, the standard 9-to-5 unfairly excludes low-income working parents unable to afford regular daycare costs.
Luckily with a side hustle, working women striving to be involved mothers can squeeze work in while waiting in the school drop-off line, grocery shopping for the week, or supervising an after-school playdate, eliminating the need to cut corners in their motherly or professional duties. Additionally, with the opportunity to set your own schedule, these working mothers can refine their eCommerce SEO strategy after tucking the kiddos into bed, actively protesting restrictive 9-to-5 models.
By dismantling traditional molds that have been holding women back for decades, there has been an influx of success stories documenting the increase in women-led online businesses. Today, women in content development, digital marketing, and event planning are making a killing with a smartphone, a desktop computer, and a reliable Wifi connection.
eCommerce businesses cater to on-the-go lifestyles
Anyone who identifies as a parent understands the on-the-go lifestyle involved. One moment you’re driving your children to a playdate and the next you’re picking your child up from soccer practice.
While supervisors in traditional office settings are likely to deny requests to clock out mid-day to drop-off a forgotten lunch box or pick-up a hysterical third-grader who missed the bus, when running or working for an eCommerce business, you set your own schedule. Not surprisingly, many women in the business sector find power in being their own boss, as they can prioritize their personal and professional responsibilities as they see fit.
With companies’ growing reliance on social media marketing, women are identifying new opportunities to work on-the-go. Unlike traditional office environments, eCommerce businesses allow women to promote their business online while attending football practices. That way, involved mothers don’t have to turn down promotions or quit their full-time jobs just to play an active role in their children’s lives. Unfortunately, brick-and-mortar businesses simply can’t afford this luxury to working women.
With the exponential increase in technological means of doing business, geographical boundaries that restricted women are obliterated. Besides harnessing the power of social media to meet their lifestyle needs, social media platforms also allow women in business to establish strategic connections and build long-standing relationships with customers. The outcome? A blossoming bottom line.
Tech-based solutions also facilitate networking among women. Women can build relationships with like-minded businesswomen and share experiences, challenges, and success stories.
eCommerce businesses affirm the importance of motherhood
In the past, corporate culture favored those men and women willing to prioritize their work responsibilities over their personal responsibilities. For instance, women and men with a history of a clocking out at a moment’s notice to attend a school play, PTA meeting, or emergency doctor’s visit were passed up for promotions while those employees with hours of accrued overtime qualified for substantial pay raises.
Today, the corporate sector emphasizes the importance of a healthy work-life balance and an established self-care regime. With this shift in company culture in mind, working mothers are no longer pushed to the outskirts and shamed for their unwavering loyalty to their children. By contrast, women spearheading an eCommerce business receive universal praise for their ability to multitask and maximize profits while raising their young children.
Greater access to global markets and financial independence
eCommerce is playing a critical role in enabling women to tap into international markets that were once out of their reach. Additionally, the online business helps eradicate inherent gender biases due to the added layer of invisibility in transacting online.
As a result of a broader market reach, women can make more sales, resulting in financial independence. And with soaring financial capabilities, women can expand their businesses locally and internationally.
Has eCommerce introduced a world of opportunities to aspiring businesswomen? Undoubtedly, yes. Online businesses offer flexibility that allows women to work from home or on-the-go. Traditional businesses do not afford this flexibility to women, leading to a widening gap between women and men in entrepreneurship and executive positions.
While progress is still in its rudimentary stages, eCommerce is successfully leveling the economic playing ground. Hindrances like family restrictions and gender biases that place women at a disadvantage are rapidly dissolving.
The world stands to benefit when more women participate in the business. The overall economy will grow, and families’ stability will increase. However, it will take more than an attitude change to turn things around in these male-dominated fields.