Millennial Women Are Burning Out At Work By 30… And It’s Great For Business And Entrepreneurship

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By Meghan Casserly (Writer, Forbes)

A recent Kauffman poll shows that Gen-Y may be poised to be the most entrepreneurial bunch the world has seen. “54% of the nation’s Millennials either want to start a business or already have started one,” says Carl Schramm, president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation.

Paired with data on the rise of female entrepreneurs, the outlook for young women is promising. As Lesa Mitchell, Kauffman’s vice president of innovation pointed out “Women’s entrepreneurship is an economic issue, not a gender-equity issue.” The next 10 years are being called the ‘Decade of the Woman Entrepreneur‘.

If Faw’s “unrealistic expectations” are schedule flexibility, increased control and unlimited earning potential, then the jump to entrepreneurship from a traditional climb up the corporate ladder is easily explained for Millennial women.

More and more anecdotal evidence points to the search for independence, fulfillment and control as the real driver of Gen-Y women to pursue aspirations of entrepreneurship.

According to a 2010 poll conducted by Gen-Y evangelist Lindsey Pollak, which aimed to measure the sentiments of 1,000 Millennial women worldwide, 96% listed being independent as their most important life goal, with more than 87% defining success as the ability to shape her own future.

Perhaps this, then is the real reason women are abandoning the corporate ladder to strike out into the often much scarier and demanding arena of entrepreneurship. If necessity is the mother of invention, career dissatisfaction just might be the necessary driver of the next economic boom.

Rebecca Woodcock, whose Cake Health is touted as the “Mint.com of health insurance” and was a darling of TechCrunch Disrupt says she was driven to leave her career in market research to find increased decision making power.

“At the end of the day, the person in charge could do what they wanted with my recommendations. I had a strong desire to make a bigger impact on the companies I worked for and often felt stifled. This frustrated me, and as a result, l started something of my own.”

In San Francisco, tech startups are as commonplace as cable cars, which mean leaving corporate culture for the greener pastures of self-fulfillment is the natural course of action for young employees. Not surprising then, that, Foodspotting co-founder Alexa Andrzejewski’s decision to strike out echoes Woodcock’s.

At only 26, after four years as a design consultant working on the projects of others, control became an issue.

“It’s a fact of life in consulting that most of the things you design will never see the light of day, at least not quite as you imagined them,” she says, hedging that her position at Adaptive Path was a “dream job” and both inspired and encouraged her entrepreneurial goals. “I rarely had the opportunity to oversee my research, strategy and design work into the execution phase.”

» Read the full article at Forbes.

  • http://www.leadingedgeadvocate.com Lea

    Good read. I can so relate.

  • http://www.theathenanetwork.com Zsa Zsa

    Very insightful. I am all for women pursuing their entrepreneurial endeavors, and whatever it is that drives them, we should support each other like loving sisters do.

  • http://www.phrsconsulting.com JB

    I’ve been doing a lot of research on engaging Gen Y employees in the workplace recently. This article makes a lot of sense and fills in many gaps. Now how can employers engage their entrepreneurial female employees and create a forward thinking, entreprenurial friendly work environment?

  • http://infinut.com Ana

    I work at a consulting job 3 days a week, just so I can work on my own company 2 days a week.

    Independence is definitely the most important part of why I want to build my own products.

    The other is the fear of having to go back to a corporate environment, where, for the most part, someone else will get the benefit and credit for my work.