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Family and work life: A constant challenge to women entrepreneurs

Opinion article by Prof Brownhilder Neneh, Associate Professor and Academic Head (HOD) of the Department of Business Management, University of the Free State

EP Staff



We all have multiple roles we hold and play throughout life; work and family are two of the most competing and salient roles in every individual’s life. Individuals often make behavioural decisions based on their relative salience (work or family) to these life roles. Role salience refers to the importance that a person assigns to different role identities in their work and family domains. Role salience fundamentally outlines the life roles that are most important for an individual. Individuals who have family salience tend to highly value their family lives.

They see family as “a permanently executed practice centred on care obligations” and give priority to their family and secondary importance to their work roles. Individuals who have work salience are more eager to spend extra effort at work and to achieve career success. Generally, people are devoted to dedicate more time to the roles they consider most important with the objective of fulfilling the expectations and responsibilities associated with the most salient role.

With regard to women entrepreneurs, given that family and work are central to their lives as they view both roles as mutually inclusive, the overlapping nature of these roles may influence how they manage and grow their businesses based on the salience they place on their family and work roles. Managing family and work responsibilities pose a constant challenge to women entrepreneurs as the time they spend on one role makes it incompatible or reduces the time and efforts they can spend on the other role.

Nevertheless, although women entrepreneurs juggle multiple roles at once, these roles differ in their level of importance, while some could be peripheral, others could be considered prominent (salient). It follows then that while both work and family roles may be salient to some entrepreneurs, others may view only one as salient, and still others may consider neither the work nor the family role as salient. 

The salience of work and family roles

As such, the salience of work and family roles has consequences on the level and type of work-family conflict individuals could potentially experience. This has significant implications for women entrepreneurs, especially with regard to growth intentions. While role salience might be imperative for growth, it is widely established that women always strive to balance their work and family domains. As such, most of their growth decisions might be centred on whether or not they can still maintain an adequate level of work-life balance. 

Based on the arguments mentioned above, this study examined the following research question: How does family and work role salience affect the growth intentions of women entrepreneurs, and what role does work-life balance play in shaping these growth intentions? The findings revealed that work role salience is one of the fundamental factors that drive women entrepreneurs to aspire to grow their businesses. Also, work-life balance was highlighted as a predisposition to growth amongst women entrepreneurs. Furthermore, work-life balance moderated the relationship between work role salience and growth intention, such that the positive association is strengthened at high levels of work-life balance.

While this study specifically focused on women entrepreneurs, the implications of the findings are applicable to every woman across their different careers and life stages. First, the last decade has seen a significant shift and change in many women’s work and life patterns. Many women across the globe are making increasing strides towards the advancement of their careers outside of the home. This study suggests that women must be aware of their role salience if they want to grow their careers.

Knowing your salience helps you to understand the conscious and unconscious decisions you have been making as well as why you have been devoting your time to this role (s). Second, given that women are at different stages in their family lives, it is not uncommon for women who have young kids to prioritise their families over their careers. This is because they often have to split their attention between reproductive work in the home and productive work in their career and also deal with external societal pressures to perform well in their family role. 

Women still shoulder greater portion of family responsibilities

Although not limited to traditional gender-specific roles and venturing into the business world, many women still shoulder a greater portion of family responsibilities. This is evident in some families, especially in the developing world, where the traditional gender roles and stereotypes belief of men being given the primary role as the breadwinners and women as the nurturers of children and the homemakers. This has resulted in productive and reproductive labour being unevenly distributed, with reproductive labour being assigned mainly to women.

As such, women with young children must be intentional about their career advancement, which will require them to clearly define the time frames for when they prioritise family, give their career more priority, or focus on both. Third, women always strive to achieve work-life balance, and not all women will be willing to sacrifice work-life balance to advance their careers. Moreover, for most women, their family domain is highly entwined with the career domain, and as such having an adequate work-life balance is often a vital personal goal. This suggests that women must clearly define their ideal context of work-life balance and put in place support structures to enable them to enact their role salience. Once such balance is achieved, the likelihood of fostering and advancing their career will increase.

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Business & Economy

SVKM’s CNM School Organizes Mini Marathon, Raises 6 lakh to support cancer patients

The event was a phenomenal success, with parents and students running for a cause

EP Staff



SVKM’s CNM School, as a part of their 25th-anniversary celebration, organised a Mini Marathon Run on the morning of February 26, 2023. The event was a phenomenal success, with parents and students running for a cause, and successfully raising Rs 6,00,000 for the Tata Memorial Center to support cancer patients.

With the theme “YES, WE CAN!” the event saw participation of 3,000 students, parents, and teachers of CNM School. The registration fee was Rs. 200 per participant, and all proceeds went towards the Tata Memorial Center.

“Our school has always believed in giving back to society, and this mini-marathon is a testament to that. With every step taken, we raise awareness and funds for a noble cause,” said Kavita Sanghvi, Principal of CNM School. She added: “The Management has organised this event to commemorate the 25th anniversary of SVKM’S CNM School and through this magnanimous gesture instilled lifelong values and learning within all.”

The event has raised Rs. 6,00,000 for the ImpaCCT Foundation, an acronym for “Improving Paediatric Cancer Care and Treatment.” It serves as the paediatric foundation of the Tata Memorial Hospital, which ensures that every child with cancer receives treatment and support regardless of their family background. It was established in October 2010 to ensure that every child with cancer coming to Tata Memorial Hospital, receives treatment and other support regardless of the family background.

The cheque for the raised funds was presented to the Tata Memorial Center on the day of the event.

“We invite all parents and students to join us in this selfless initiative of sharing and giving. Your participation is crucial in showing that you care,” added Principal Sanghvi.

It is said that charity begins at home. Running for a charity, whether the race is for one specific cause or the cause gets you into a specific race, gives an added purpose to the running. This event is in alignment with our credence as an institution, which has always believed in giving back to society. SVKM’s CNM School is committed to supporting young cancer patients.

Join the CNM School community and take a step towards making a difference in someone’s life.

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Business & Economy

FoodTech Kerala to be held in Kochi from February 9th to 11th at Rena Event Centre

More than 60 exhibitors will showcase their products and services at this year’s FoodTech Kerala

EP Staff



FoodTech Kerala, the state’s premier food processing and packaging expo, will be held for the fourteen edition at Rena Event Centre from February 9 to 11, 2023.  FoodTech Kerala will be a 3-day exposition and will provide an interface for the manufacturers of food processing machinery, packaging equipment as well as suppliers of ingredients and flavours for the small and big food processing units in the state, the organizers told a media conference held at Press Club on Monday.

The organizers of the expo, said more than 60 exhibitors will showcase their products and services at this year’s FoodTech Kerala edition. “It is a ‘must not miss’ event for all organizations involved in the food processing and packaging sector to showcase their products and services.

The event is endorsed and supported by Kerala Bureau of Industrial Promotion (K-BIP), CIFT, BIS and FICCI-Kerala.  The key highlight of this edition will be the Industrial Pavilion featuring 20 SME units from the state which is sponsored by the K-BIP, Govt of Kerala. The presence of food processing and packaging equipment suppliers, along with the buyers and food processors will give a new dimension to the expo bringing the local buyers and national suppliers together in a single platform.

The receding of pandemic has given a major push to the food industry especially to the small scale units and home bakers in Kerala. “Food Processing Industry has made a major headway all over Kerala, with the Ernakulam district only having many food based units, employing more than 50,000 people.  The food processing industry in the district has various products including spices, fish and meat, oil and extracts and ready–to-eat products.

The show will be an ideal opportunity for NRI-Returnees to set up food and bakery units to target the growing Food & HORECA sector in Kerala. The state has a fairly strong base of food processing industries. This sector plays a major role in the economic development of this region and various studies reveal that its contribution to the total output, value additions and employment generation have been regularly increasing during the recent years.

FoodTech Kerala 2023 is organised by Kochi based Cruz Expos. The company has been regularly organising the FoodTech and HotelTech series of B2B trade expos in the state since the past 14 years. Cruz Expos, in a short span of 15 years, has become one of South India’s foremost professional exhibition organiser in the B2B segment.

Organised by:


Chingam, K. P. Vallon Road, Kadavanthra, Kochi- 682 020. India

Mob: +91 8893304450


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Business & Economy

The Workforce Institute at UKG Survey: More Than Half of Workers in India Wouldn’t Want Their Children to Have Their Job

The survey report titled ‘We can fix work’ entails a 10-country survey of employees, C-level leaders, and HR professionals which was done by The Workforce Institute at UKG

EP Staff



  • The report launched on 9th December, 2022 at the UKG LIVE event happening in Sahara Star, Mumbai.
  • They survey found that 52% of people would tell their children to pursue jobs in which they find ‘meaning’ instead of being completely driven by the pay scale.
  • While money will continue to remain a driving factor when it comes to job choices, the coming generations definitely won’t regard it as the only factor.

Standing at the threshold of the future of work, The Workforce Institute at UKG, which provides research and education on critical workplace issues facing organizations around the world, surveyed employees and leaders across 10 countries to get a pulse of how they really feel about their jobs. According to the results, India ranked the highest with 66% of employees stating that they wouldn’t recommend their profession to their children or any young person that they care about, while 67% wouldn’t recommend their employers.

The full report, “We Can Fix Work,” provides insight into what parents, family members, and mentors are telling children about what they should value in their jobs and employers — urging future generations to let purpose, not money, guide career choices.

It found that on a global scale, nearly half (46%) of employees would not recommend their company nor their profession to their children or a young person they care about, and a startling 38% “wouldn’t wish my job on my worst enemy.”

“Employees and leaders alike, as has been found in this report, prioritise finding meaning in their work more than making money. We have to realise that with these shifting times, we are navigating towards a generation of workers who don’t necessarily rely on their job for survival: instead their work is more personal to them in terms of adding value to their lives, and fuelling their existing passions,” said Neil J Solomon, vice president, Asia Pacific and Latin America at UKG. “For a workforce such as this, we need to develop a workplace culture that nourishes and nurtures the overall development of its employees, takes care of their physical as well as mental wellbeing, appreciates their efforts, and maintains a mutual sense of respect with individuals at different levels of the organisation irrespective of hierarchies. This, right here, is the beginning of the future of work and employee centricity is at the heart of it.”

Workforce burnout: 45% of employees worldwide don’t want to work anymore, period

There has been a recent rise in the anti-work mindset, globally, owing to the pandemic as 77% of employees around the world want to spend less time working and more time doing things that matter to them. Amongst the C-suite leaders, it is the younger leaders that are ready to bow out of work completely, especially those belonging to the Gen Z (58%), who say they don’t want to work anymore. When compared to the C-suite leaders who are soon to be retiring from their jobs, 36% of the Millennial leaders and 33% of the Gen X leaders are ready to not work anymore. Therefore, a disinclination towards work is a phenomenon that is being observed across the ranks of employees and leaders alike.

Too much overtime affects the employee-employer relationship

If employees tend to work overtime more than twice per week, it strains their relationship with the employer and they’re even less likely to recommend their jobs or their companies to the next generation. This is evidenced by the more than half (58%) of employees, globally, who work overtime 3-4 times per week who wouldn’t recommend their profession to kids. 60% wouldn’t recommend the organisation. The report distinctly shows that more money does not equate to job satisfaction for individuals, as most people have a transactional relationship with work and only 23% of employees genuinely enjoy their work and are passionate about it. In fact, 64% of them would switch jobs right now if they could.

With purpose and trust, 88% of employees look forward to work

Now more than ever, companies must prioritise the wellbeing of their employees, not just for better outcomes in the present, but for their long-term sustainability in the future. Employees in India topped the global charts with a staggering 89% saying that they are committed in their pursuit of greater purpose at work  — most of any country surveyed.

What does great look like?

Great Place To Work research finds people at the best workplaces around the world are living in a vastly different — and more fulfilling — reality than the typical employee, starting with the sense of purpose they find in their work. For those at the best workplaces:

  • 90% feel like they can be themselves
  • 88% look forward to going to work
  • 85% believe their work has special meaning
  • 85% enjoy psychologically healthy work environments

What’s more, rather than warn loved ones away, 89% of people at these best workplaces would “strongly endorse” their organizations to friends and family.

The full report, “We Need to Fix Work,” examines feedback from 2,200 employees surveyed in partnership with Workplace Intelligence across Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Mexico, New Zealand, the Netherlands, the U.K., and the U.S., as well as 600 C-suite leaders and 600 HR executives in the U.S.

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