The number of women-owned businesses has surged by nearly 3,000% since 1972, with women now making up 40% of new entrepreneurs in the US. But why are so many women starting businesses? Here are a few reasons why women are favoring entrepreneurship over climbing the corporate ladder:

Flexibility is a Top Priority

Women are still the primary caregivers and accommodating work to their family needs is the primary reason American women start businesses. According to a survey, roughly 74% of women said flexibility is more important than making the most money. Being your own boss generally allows for more freedom than working for someone else. This additional autonomy is especially helpful when family may be the number one priority.

To Charge What You Are Worth

The gender pay gap has remained relatively stable over the last 15 years. Women earned 80% of what their male counterparts made in 2016. Women are turning to entrepreneurship because being your own boss puts you in the unique position to set your own rates and charge what you’re worth.

Control Over Your Future

The belief that working for a company offers the most stability is a myth. Women who have experienced a layoff, restructuring, reorganization, or buyout in their corporate life often find that it has a negative career impact. Working for yourself means you are in the driver’s seat, with control over your business activities and whom you work with, including clients and business partners.

Escape the Glass Ceiling

A study published in the Harvard Business Review tested the theory that women aren’t promoted as quickly as men because they behave differently. Research showed that women and men behave the same in the workplace, get the same amount done in a day, and score equally in performance evaluations. Women are 15% less likely than men to get promoted, and at this rate, it will take more than a century to achieve gender parity in the C-suite. Women are turning to entrepreneurship to advance their careers more quickly.

Following Your Passion

Many women leave corporate life because their jobs don’t inspire them anymore, and starting a business allows them to find meaning and leave behind a legacy they can be proud of. To be truly successful, you need to find work that you’re passionate about.

E-Commerce Empowering Women

In Southeast Asia, sales on e-commerce platforms are expected to triple between 2020 and 2025, whilst Africa’s e-commerce market value is expected to quadruple between 2020 and 2030. E-commerce platforms have a major role in mitigating the disproportionately negative impacts of the pandemic on female entrepreneurs. Women will own 75% of global discretionary spending by 2028. The e-commerce sector is affording women more opportunities, with Amazon reporting 32% of its sellers are women, whilst Shopify boasts a more impressive statistic of 53%. Female sellers on Amazon turn a profit sooner, with 26% becoming profitable after just three months, versus 18% of men.