In Pakistan, few studies address the issue of work-life conflict in taking the perspectives of both men and women at management level (Nadeem and Abbas, 2009; Noor and Maad, 2008). However, no research has been found that addresses women entrepreneurs’ perception of work-life balance phenomenon especially exploring the challenges they face in achieving balance, and strategies they use to balance work, social and personal obligations (Rahman and Azam, 2012)
The concept of work-life balance is no longer a western phenomenon anymore. Though the majority of research in this area is focused on western contexts, it is also spreading to the eastern culture due to globalisation which has greatly influence the organisational settings worldwide (Lewis et al. , 2007). A comprehensive review of the literature suggests that most of the research on work-life balance has been conducted in the western countries at management level (Lewis et al., 2007; Lewis and Cooper, 2005). There are not many studies addressing work-life balance issues of women entrepreneurs (Shelton, 2006). Most of the work conducted is in relation to the resulting psychological outcomes of conflict/stress as a result of imbalance (Bruening and Dixon, 2007), and very few studies examine the solutions and strategies that can mitigate work- family conflict (Shelton, 2006).
Managing work and family for women entrepreneurs becomes even more difficult in a patriarchal society such as Pakistan where women are expected to share the large responsibility of family care. There is also a notion that work family roles are largely shaped by stereotypical gender roles (Gutek et al.1991) due to the traditionally held belief of men as “bread-winners and women as “house makers”. Therefore, the social construction of gender makes motherhood less negotiable as compared to fatherhood (Gronlund, 2007).
As the early history of entrepreneurship is closely linked with the culture of the country, traditions, and customs, entrepreneurship usually developed along with social manner (Rizvi & Gupta, 2009). However, nowadays, the individual success as an entrepreneur entirely depends on her or his vision, imagination, risk taking ability and require not to be intertwined with old culture and social etiquette. Present entrepreneurship is so centred on the development of new ideas and creative thinking.