I’m called a lot of things. A mum, a wife, a woman, a business owner, a Paramedic, a sister, a daughter, a friend, and a whole heap more (some not so nice…), but there is one thing I loathe being called… a Mumpreneur.
Over the last decade or so we have seen this massive shift in online business and retail. Women (and men) who may not have had the opportunity before, are now opening businesses, showcasing their talents and flair.
One of the groups that seems to be getting the most attention is the ‘Mumpreneurs’. That is the women who have started a business and are mothers.
First of all, I cannot for the life of me decipher why there is so much focus on these women being mothers as well. Have you seen some of the interview questions? ‘How do you cope being a mum and running a successful business?’ Ummm, sorry, I didn’t know being a mum meant it was no longer ‘normal’ for me to be successful.
Have you ever seen an interview with a guy where they ask ‘so, Tom, how do you cope with being a dad and running a successful business?’
No. Of course not. Because apparently, taking care of the kids is purely a mother’s job and because of that, running a successful business seems that much more amazing. (Side note, running a successful business is amazing regardless of your social situation! Kudos!).
But here’s my real gripe:
I was an entrepreneur before I became a mum, but now that I am a mum, all of a sudden I am called a ‘Mumpreneur’.
I still don’t see the word ‘dadpreneur’ taking off though.
I’ve run successful businesses well before I was a mum. But back then I was simply a ‘business owner’ (entrepreneur as a buzzword hadn’t quite hit the scene then). I didn’t start my current business because I’m a mum, I started it because I love business.
Somehow, this is also the only profession this mash up of words is applicable to.
I was a Paramedic for 5 years before I became a mum. But since becoming a mum I’m not called a ‘Mumamedic’ (although that does have a nice ring to it).
Mumpreneur is not an empowering word. It’s not a word designed to build women up or praise them for their accomplishments. It’s a word designed to segregate. These buzzwords do nothing more than trivialising not only our ability to run a business as women but immediately put us on the backfoot when it comes to getting ahead in the business world.
As if it’s not hard enough to be taken seriously as a woman in business, we are then tagged with ‘mumpreneur’ as well. Like a big red arrow and a participation award (“oh isn’t that so sweet… the mumpreneur is trying to start a business in her toddler’s nap time…” urgh, please).
I work 50 hours a week on my business… minimum. I also work 20 hours a week as a Paramedic (my side hustle) and I read bedtime stories to my son every night. I have a husband responsible for half of the parenting (and he does an amazing job) who also works full time as a Paramedic (no, not a ‘dadamedic’). Together we take care of what’s needed around the house. That’s right, together. Because we both live here. If I’m completely honest he does more housework than me, but we don’t keep count. Oh, and right now I’m pregnant. Does that make me a ‘pregnepeur’ too?
We need to stop creating these buzzwords that devalue our worth and our contribution to society. In 2016 roughly 9.9 million businesses in the U.S were owned by women. 9.9 million. Memphis alone has seen a rise of 116% in the last 5 years of female owned businesses. These aren’t just little ‘hobby’ businesses. They are businesses that contribute to the growing economy and create jobs for members of our society. They are real, income earning, revenue building businesses.
So please, stop calling me a ‘mumpreneur’ I am so much more than that.