Letter: Is Covid-19 a cue for more female entrepreneurs?

By October 13, 2020 No Comments

I was intrigued to be part of a larger trend (“Job losses force rethink of female career goals”, Special Reports, FT.com, October 7). After a Covid-induced introspection of a few months I quit my job as a business operations manager in a technology company in order to take a leap into freelance journalism. Several of my female friends made similar moves, most voluntarily.

For me, this development is testament to the failure of the corporate world to offer decent pay, flexibility, meaning and recognition at the same time. To men or women.

A (male) mentor once said to me: “Look at the women around you. They are stressed beyond belief, because they have been told a lie that they can have it all, at the same time. But that’s not true. I am a man, and I don’t have it all.”

For him, achieving career and family objectives was a sequential, rather than a simultaneous feat. Unsurprisingly, he started out with a career, to then focus on family while his wife did the inverse. Yet, it betrays a flawed system.

And what’s interesting is that the women you featured did not just return to the proverbial stove, but launched their own businesses, consultancies or fitness studios, deciding to upend the corporate charade.

But if you don’t play the game you can’t win, you cry? It feels like the women you write about have taken Covid-19 as an opportunity to assess which game they want to be in, and whether it really is climbing the corporate ladder that their mothers couldn’t get on to. Maybe this finally is the start of more female-led businesses and start-ups, which is exactly what we need.

Katja Staple
London E8, UK

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