Business Strategy

Who Are The Happiest Women in the Workforce?

women ceo

Women who want to be happy at work might want to start their own companies.

More women are starting and running their own businesses—about one in 10. Their motivations may vary, but as a group they are feeling pretty good.

“Women with established businesses ranked their happiness nearly three times as high as women who are not entrepreneurs or established business owners,” according to the recently released 2013 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) U.S. Report.

And, yep, they are happier than male entrepreneurs.

Women entrepreneurs in the United States also make more a year than those working for an employer–$63,000 as compared to $42,700.

Interestingly, women are most likely to launch a company between the ages of 35 and 44, which suggests that having more control over their schedules is a big motivator. But it takes some time before their happiness kicks up, likely because of the uncertainties and long hours many early stage companies require.

“Women entrepreneurs show a substantial boost in well-being as their businesses mature, demonstrating the personal return on investment that comes with venturing into entrepreneurship,” says Donna Kelley, associate professor of entrepreneurship at Babson College and the lead author on the report.

The sense of purpose and control that entrepreneurship brings, particularly as a business matures, produces a feeling of satisfaction that working for someone else just can’t match.

About the Author

Susan Price has been writing about careers, entrepreneurs and personal finance for more than a decade. She’s been an editor at BusinessWeek, Money, and iVillage.com, among others.