Fighting Work-Life Conflict: Strategies of Women Entrepreneurs of Fashion Industry of Pakistan

  • Aamna Mukhtar
  • Rafia Faiz


In pursuit of improved flexibility and control over performance of dual roles in work and personal lives, an increasing number of women are shifting from paid employment to entrepreneurship. Yet, women entrepreneurs continue to experience dynamics of work-life conflict, particularly when gender interplays with culture, religion and class in unconventional, patriarchal Muslim societies. The purpose of this paper is to address the strategies adopted by Pakistani women entrepreneurs to combat work-life conflict. Border theory and role theory form the theoretical framework. This qualitative study draws upon interpretive phenomenological approach (IPA) to examine lived experiences of coping with work-life conflict. In-depth interviews with 35 women entrepreneurs of fashion industry were conducted in mixed Urdu and English languages, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed thematically. Our study finds that women entrepreneurs experience varying degrees of work-life imbalance, and adopt active strategies to resist it. Due to poor institutional support, they largely tend to sacrifice their self-comfort for the sake of their family and business obligations. Strategic planning, authority delegating and seeking support from social capital are their most effective growth oriented strategies. Moreover, some women also practice growth constraining strategies in their subjective structures, thus contributing to reproduction of inequalities. This study contributes to expansion of border theory by highlighting the dynamics of work-life management when family and work are overlapping spheres for entrepreneurs. It adds to the growing body of literature on resistance and agency of marginalized women in emerging economies.
How to Cite
MUKHTAR , Aamna; FAIZ , Rafia. Fighting Work-Life Conflict: Strategies of Women Entrepreneurs of Fashion Industry of Pakistan . Business & Economic Review, [S.l.], v. 12, n. 4, p. 44-70, dec. 2020. ISSN 2519-1233. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 23 feb. 2024.