Can all women have their cake and eat it too?

Cas McCullough
Posted November 19, 2015 from Australia

I recently published a new podcast episode on my show Your Brilliant Un-Career, addressing whether or not women of all walks of life can realistically pursue entrepreneurship.

While the perspective I have spoken from is a Western perspective (note the mention of welfare), I would love to explore the deeper issues in developing and war torn nations for a later episode. I have also mentioned the amazing project being run by Busayo but I think I may have gotten her name slightly wrong (sorry :-(). In any case, I tried to do the issue justice. I'd be very interested in your thoughts and feedback.

Here's the link: here are the main points:

  • Can all women have their cake and eat it too or is it just suburban housewives and the recently made redundant who get to choose?
  • It’s hard to break free of the “work to survive” world if you are on the poverty line, especially if you have been on it your entire life.
  • If you’re a single mother trying to work your way off welfare it’s hard! The welfare system doesn’t encourage entrepreneurship or accommodate the necessary reinvestment in your business to grow it into something bigger and better.
  • If you want to get off welfare without working like a slave and never seeing your kids, it’s not necessarily easy but it is possible.
  • There is so much free, valuable information on the internet these days that this should no longer be a barrier for any woman who is determined to educate herself and gain skills so she can follow her dreams.
  • Not everyone wants to gain skills or do something else but some will and those women deserve to know that they have another option.
  • It is easier for a wealthy woman to leave an abusive situation than it would be if she had no money, no house and was surrounded by generational poverty.
  • I was recently told by a major domestic violence charity that about 5 percent of the women who call domestic violence services for help, get through.
  • The barriers to business ownership are definitely real for women who are trying to escape violence, drugs, health problems and generational poverty. That said, I know some amazing women with severe disabilities who run businesses rather than rely solely on welfare.
  • Even in a country as abundant as Australia, statistically women still do it tougher than men when it comes to employment and career progression.
  • Women find it harder to get out of generational poverty than men and they are victims of abuse more often than men. Aboriginal women fare the worst. Their maternal and infant mortality and morbidity statistics are abysmal in comparison to white women and that is a national disgrace.
  • Studies have shown when women are cared for and educated their children are more likely to survive and thrive.
  • Charities and governments in developing countries are seeing the link between micro-entrepreneurship and women’s and children’s wellbeing.
  • If women in truly impoverished and war torn countries can see entrepreneurship as an option, why can’t we encourage women to dream here at home?
  • Why do women believe the lie that they have no choices other than to sacrifice family for career or career for family?
  • Why do women in poverty believe they have no choice but to be a slave to a low-paying job or be on welfare? Why is it so wrong to inspire women to want more for themselves and their loved ones?
  • I appreciate and respect anyone who gets off their ass and works hard, but what if they could own the cleaning company rather than work for someone else’s cleaning company?
  • Shouldn’t we at least plant a seed for and encourage women to open up to new possibilities that will give them financial freedom and help them off the welfare or work-like-a-slave train?
  • Globally, entrepreneurship is beginning to create a wave of social change creating more opportunities for women regardless of socio-economic status. My hope is that as more women see this choice as accessible, corporates and governments will work harder to help women integrate work and life.
  • We need the third option (entrepreneurship) because as technology changes and admin jobs go offshore, more women are going to find it harder to find jobs.
  • Let’s support all women to dream, and let’s plant seeds of possibility.

I look forward to your feedback.

Comments 2

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Maggie B
Dec 02, 2015
Dec 02, 2015

Dear Casm,

This is such an important issue and I want to thank you for addressing it. I currently stay home with my 10 month old daughter and am interested in figuring out how to work from home, but it has felt like such a challenge! I can't even imagine how hard it must be for a single mom at the poverty level. I share your concern for the challenges that are faced particularly by women in finding a career that means we don't have to choose between work and family and I am interested in hearing more about your vision that entreprenuership could be the answer.

In your podcast you talked about how proud you are at the progress you have made over the past two years in your goal of getting off welfare and I want to congratulate you on your hard work and success. Keep up the good work!

Best, Maggie B

rhania bensafia
Dec 15, 2015
Dec 15, 2015

Thank you for sharing. I also believe that we have the power to do any thing we want. As woman  and as mother we sometime refrain ourself from following our dreams.

I always wanted and still do  to be my own boss and do the thing I love to do.

By reading your article it just boost my confident and I believe again that I CAN and all womans around the world can too.

We just need to believe and also to be mentor by womans like you.

Thank you