entrepreneurs,  women in business

Double Standards

I participate in a number of online forums for business owners and entrepreneurs. One thing I have noticed recently is the growing use of the term “mompreneur.” Entrepreneur magazine defines a mompreneur as: A female business owner who is actively balancing the role of mom and the role of entrepreneur.

I receive many notices for events and groups for mompreneurs and I started to wonder why this term is acceptable to female entrepreneurs, even if they are mothers. Here are just a few questions the term raises for me. Ponder them and draw your own conclusions.

  1. Not all female entreprenuers are mothers. Yet, near as I can tell from my own experience, many marketing and business gurus target all women as mompreneurs. Doesn’t this unneccesarily create an “us and them” mentality? The mothers versus the child-free? Isn’t it a potentially hurful term to some non-mothers?
  2. Why do mothers have to be mompreneurs? Why aren’t fathers dadpreneurs? Isn’t this a continuation of the old double-standard of women’s work versus men’s work? Doesn’t the term insinuate that fathers can be serious business owners but mothers cannot?
  3. When I was in school I was cautioned to not be overly optimistic about my skills since I ws more “creative” than “analytical.” The insinuation being I was smart and talented “for a girl.” Doesn’t the term mompreneur make the same sort of underhanded, discriminatory assumptions? Don’t get your hopes up. Your business may do well, but you’re still a girl/mom after all.
  4. Would a woman really introduce herself to an investor or potential business partner as a mompreneur? I’m trying to imagine Donald Trump taking a business woman seriously as she waxed poetic about changing diapers and shipping out orders at the same time.
  5. Why is the term mompreneur even necessary? Don’t all entrepreneurs struggle to find a healthy work/life balance?
  6. It’s a given that women still often face an uneven playing field in the business world. However, does calling oneself a mompreneur work to level the field? Or does it actually tilt it even more in the favor of male entrepreneurs who aren’t burdened with cute labels about their personal choices in life?