Saying that side hustles for women are more important (than they are for men) is a pretty bold statement, but I stand behind it 100%.

Women’s careers are more often interrupted (for various reasons) far more than men’s are.

The biggest benefit to side hustles for women is the opportunity to diversify income. The added value is that they also allow women a chance to expand their horizons.

Whether you’re a seasoned career woman, a fresh graduate or a stay at home mom, making extra money with a side business is how you empower yourself.

The three main reasons side hustles for women are essential

1. Side hustles for women on maternity leave

The number one reason mothers in the US return to work just weeks after having a baby is due to financial reasons… they need the income.

If you live in the US, you’re lucky if you can take 12 weeks of maternity leave. I know what’s like to have a newborn and 12 weeks is nothing! Most babies aren’t even sleeping through the night yet.

I don’t think I could go back to work after 12 weeks and I’m speaking as a woman who was lucky enough to get a full year’s worth of maternity leave.

It was absolutely wonderful to bond with my daughter without worrying about money.

The only reason I wasn’t worried about money (other than my husband, of course) was because I had a side hustle that was still generating income.

I’d been obsessed with entrepreneurship and side businesses for years and started a resume writing side businesses a few years ago that kept me going through my maternity leave.

2. Side hustles give women control over their careers

In her book Lean In , Sheryl Sandberg says that women plan their careers around their future children and that they should go for the job they want instead of the job they think would fit lives as mothers.

When women eventually have children, they can figure things out then and demand support from their company or partner. I was a total believer in this.

And then I became a mother…

I quickly realized demanding something that big from the company I worked for would result in one thing…

A good laugh and instructions to get myself back to work.

No matter how indispensable we are to our employer, it’s not possible for most of us to simply demand that our jobs now change to accommodate our new lives as mothers.

Within the first few months of going back to work after maternity leave (in what I thought was my dream job), it becamse painfully obvious that the hours and demanding travel expectations were not going to work with my new role as a mom.

Hats off to the mothers who make it work, but this wasn’t the live I wanted to live.

Personally, I made the decision to changed jobs so that I could continue the same line of work, but from home.

Some women make the decision to leave the workplace altogether to raise their children without being pulled in different directions.

And then you have women who would love to go with either option, but are unable to manage the financial ramifications.

This is where a side hustle for women offer control.

A woman with a successful side hustle is empowered to make a career decision that is right for her.

Whether it’s to work part-time, work from home or leave the workforce for the time being, side hustles for women allow women to make this decision without fearing financial hardship.

3. Side hustles for women provide entrepreneurship without the risk

For women who are passionate about becoming entrepreneurs, but don’t want to take the risk of quitting their full time jobs to start a business, side hustles are the perfect way to ease into running a full-time business without the risk.

It won’t be easy.

Juggling a full-time job AND running a side hustle is hard work, but it’s a great way of building a business that you can eventually make a full-time gig.

Before you get started on your side hustle…

If you know you want to start a side hustle, but aren’t sure what you would like to do, start by asking yourself these questions:

  • What do you like to do?
  • What are you good at?
  • How much time can you make available to building your side hustle?

Rather than wracking your brain trying to find ideas for a profitable side hustle, think about what you’re already good at and how you can turn that into a business.

If you use your existing talent, you’re already halfway through planning your business and you can get right down to getting started.