Still bringing up the rear: Why women will always be ‘Other’ in entrepreneurship’s masculine instrumental discourse

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Recent years have witnessed emerging debates surrounding the study of female entrepreneurship, the roots of which rise from amongst others, ‘feminist’ (Baines & Wheelock 2000, Bourne & Calás 2013) ‘institutional’ (Morris & Trotter, 1990) and ‘structural’ perspectives (EC, 2015). Furthermore, studies have started to highlight similarities in entrepreneurial potential between men and women, especially in terms of their contribution to wealth creation, employment (Malach-Pines & Schwartz, 2008, Womens Enterprise Policy Group, 2011) and recognition by global governments of women as an ‘untapped source’ of economic growth and development (Malach-Pines & Schwartz 2008, Minniti & Naude 2010). Some studies have gone further to argue that women’s contribution tends to be higher than that resulting from entrepreneurial activity of men (de Bruin, Brush and Welter 2006, Minniti & Naudé 2010). Evidence of narrowing the gender gap through support programmes has provided strength to women entering and operating in diverse sectors (GEM 2012, 2014). However, the majority of research on female entrepreneurship, continues to single out women from the mainstream entrepreneurship arena (Minniti & Naudé 2010). The aim and focus of enterprise and entrepreneurship within political discourse appears to be to drive forward an agenda that demands, rather than encourages, parity between the sexes in terms of entrepreneurial performance. The solutions offered, with little reflection, seem to be more of the same diet of business support programmes to get women up to speed on finance, networking and resource management. Despite many years of such support the gender gap persists, regardless of the level of economic activity (Santos et al, 2016).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWomen Entrepreneurship and Myth of ‘Underperformance’
Subtitle of host publicationA New Look at Women’s Entrepreneurship Research
EditorsS. Yousafzai, A. Fayolle, C. Henry, A. Lindgreen, A. Saeed
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
ISBN (Electronic)978 1 78643 450 0
ISBN (Print)978 1 78643 449 4
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2018


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