Work-family conflict, the experience of women business owners

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Ferguson, Frances E.
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Over half a million strong, women business owners are becoming an increasingly important force in the Canadian economy. Women business owners cite that one of their greatest challenges, alongside issues such as access to capital and financing, is the difficult they experience balancing the often conflicting demands of work and family. This study examined the relationships between several variables in both the work and family domains on psychological and physical health among 210 women business owners in Manitoba. A theoretical model outlining proposed relationships between these variables was presented. The results indicated that the number of hours spent at work accounts for substantial variation in the levels of work interference with family, while the number of hours spent attending to family and household tasks accounts for substantial variation in the levels of family interference with work. The results indicated higher levels of both types of work-family conflict to be associated with more psychological and physical symptoms. Involvement and support of family members can alleviate the stress and should be encouraged. These findings have important implications for counsellors, therapists, educators, policy makers in business, and women business owners themselves.