Why Maternal Mental Health Matters To Female Entrepreneurs In 2022

The rise of female entrepreneurs has been encouraging to watch. In recent years we’ve seen more and more women starting and growing their own businesses. But despite the growing number of women entrepreneurs, there’s still a long way to go when it comes to support and expectations for maternal mental health.

Let’s remember too that female entrepreneurs are responsible for a significant proportion of Britain’s economy and it’s predicted that £250bn could be added to the UK economy if women in the UK matched men in starting and scaling businesses.

As we’ve come out of the pandemic, maternal mental health has become a subject that’s been drawing immense resources, research and campaigns to spread awareness and support. This increase in reference to maternal mental health is something I’m extremely passionate about because it affects millions of mothers each year all over the world. As women are excelling in entrepreneurship more than ever before, we are still met with the same expectations of a 1950s housewife, the majority of childcare falling on us throughout the pandemic, it’s clear that maternal mental health is a crisis for women in business.

Here’s some stats about female entrepreneurship and mental health that are worth noting.

Entrepreneurs are 50% more likely to have a mental health condition.

Unsurprisingly, the stress that comes with running your own business can take its toll. Entrepreneurs are 50% more likely to have a mental health condition than the general public, according to the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology.

While this statistic isn’t unique to women, I think it’s important to highlight that just by having the title of entrepreneur your chances of suffering with poor mental health increase.

This, along with the pressures that come with being a woman in business and a mother could be a huge factor to the rise in mental health issues.

Caring responsibilities for female entrepreneurs.

It is a fact that we do not invest in the health of people who are most productive and valuable. Female entrepreneurs have spent twice as long on caring responsibilities during the pandemic than their male counterparts.

As a result, an unacceptable disparity between men and women starting businesses remains. Female-led businesses are still underfunded and new businesses are almost three times as likely to be started by men than women.

More women than ever are starting new businesses.

Over 140,000 all-female- founded companies were created last year, and this figure is growing by over a third each year. It means that in total over 20% of new firms are now led by women, a record high.

What about mums in business?

Female entrepreneurs with dependants have been worse affected by the pandemic, with their businesses 62% less likely to have recovered than those of their peers without dependants.

These new statistics show that maternal mental health should not be ignored when it comes to helping female entrepreneurs succeed.

More support is needed for maternal mental health

It’s a simple fact. Female entrepreneurs are good for the economy, employing nearly 7 million people.

Supporting new mothers’ and female entrepreneurs mental health comes with the double dividend of better business and more economic growth. There are several ways to help make this goal a reality. Maintaining a supportive environment of female mentors, managers and colleagues can be very beneficial, as can taking advantage of flexible work arrangements.

Ultimately, though, societal change will come from recognising that gender inequality runs deeper than simple numbers and policies. Women not only need to be empowered to pursue their passions and succeed at the highest levels of business leadership, there needs to be more support, changes to childcare and more access to funding.