Edited by Cristina Díaz-García, Candida G. Brush, Elizabeth G. Gatewood and Friederike Welter
Chapter 3: Business and occupational crowding: implications for female entrepreneurship development and success
Even as women increase their participation in the labor force, they continue to work in a limited number of labor force sectors. This affects women’s entrepreneurship development since the sectors where women start their businesses mirror the industry segregation patterns of female workers. In addition, sectors where women’s businesses are most prevalent are often at a disadvantage since they tend to be highly competitive, labor-intensive, and offer low growth potential. In this chapter, we introduce a comparative and quantitative measure for assessing labor force balance as a tool for understanding gendered patterns in employment and entrepreneurship. We use this tool to explore the extent of occupational crowding for a 60-country sample. Our results indicate a wide variation amongst countries that cannot be explained by level of economic development or varying numbers of active labor force sectors. However, in countries with high levels of occupational crowding, adherence to gendered occupational stereotypes help maintain male-dominated and female-dominated sectors. Measures currently being taken by countries to remove the outdated and harmful macho cultures are highlighted not only for their positive impact on women in the labor force but also for women’s entrepreneurship development.
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