Women are now the sole or primary breadwinners in 40 percent of households with children under 18, according to a Pew Research Center study released last week. This share has almost quadrupled since 1960, when women made up only about 11% of primary breadwinners.
Of those mothers who are the primary earners in their family, 63% are single mothers earning a median income of only $23,000. The other 37% are married women who make more than their husbands. Their household income is a much higher $80,000.
Those of us who have been working mothers know how hard it is to be everything to everyone, and can’t help but applaud all those moms, married or single, who somehow manage to put in a full week at work, make homemade cookies for the school party, get the bills paid, the dog washed, the car serviced and everything else that needs to get done.
That’s why I was intrigued by this quote from real estate pioneer Barbara Corcoran, who turned a $1,000 investment into a $5 billion real estate company in 20 years. She is featured on NBC’s TODAY Show where she comments on business trends, and is an investor/shark on ABC’s hit Shark Tank.
Here’s what Barbara said when I heard her speak a few weeks ago at a women business owner’s conference in Palm Beach Gardens:
“The best shot you have at achieving a work family balance is having your own business, because then you control your time.”
Is Barbara right? Is the best way for women to master the work-family juggling act to own and run their own business? And if so, what are the skills we should be teaching our daughters to make them successful entrepreneurs?