While policies and legislation initiatives have worked to even the playing field for women in business and female-owned enterprises, sociological issues still play a major role in hindering women from securing financing for business ventures. François Neville, Assistant Professor at the DeGroote School of Business, suggests that women continue to face challenges in the entrepreneurial world due to gender stereotypes, even though evidence shows that female-led businesses and corporations tend to be more successful than male-led businesses.
The Role of Gender and Female Entrepreneurs
When you think of a successful business person, you may think of someone like Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, or Jeff Bezos, known to be daring, risk-takers. Even though many successful, ambitious women-owned enterprises exist, they do not fit into the society-expected gender roles. This dissonance penalizes women in business who do not act in the gender roles society expects of them.
“Role congruity theory, which has to do with what men and women in society are expected to look like and act like, has really shaped the field business and the field of entrepreneurship in such a way that our stereotypical images of what the successful business person is, is really associated with what we would consider to be stereotypically male or masculine-like traits.”
Breaking the Bias on Women in Business
In order to break down the barriers that female entrepreneurs and women-owned enterprises face, it is up to us to change our social views on what traits we assume fit into traditionally masculine and feminine roles. An ambition and desire for success are not gendered feelings – they are part of the drive that we in business thrive on in order to make a positive impact on society.
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