The Population, Society and Inequality Colloquium Series presents

“Business as Plan B? Work-Family Policies and Gender Gapsin Entrepreneurship across 24 Industrialized Countries”
with Sarah Thébaud, Assistant Professor, Sociology, UC Santa Barbara

Tuesday, May 7, 2013
12:30–1:30 p.m.
Social Science Plaza B, Room 4250

Data from 24 countries are used to investigate the effects of work-family policies on patterns and processes of gender inequality in entrepreneurship. Thébaud argues that in contexts where work-family policies (e.g. paid leave and publicly funded childcare) mitigate work-family conflict and employer incentives to discriminate, women are less likely to opt for business ownership as a fallback employment strategy. As a result, women may be relatively less likely to be entrepreneurs in these contexts, but the women who /do/ become entrepreneurs may report motivations and business characteristics that are more similar to their male counterparts. Multilevel analyses suggest that, in contexts with supportive work-family policies, women comprise a lower share of early-stage and established business owners, but their status /among/ business owners, as indexed by measures of growth-orientation and innovation, is higher. Moreover, women business owners are less likely to opt for entrepreneurship as a response to limited employment options in contexts with supportive work-family policies. Findings imply that institutional environments that offer men and women more equal incentives to become entrepreneurs may mitigate gender inequality in high-status forms of entrepreneurship while, paradoxically, exacerbating gender inequality in entrepreneurial activity overall.

This talk is sponsored by the Gender, Work and Family Research Group.

For further information, please contact Jayne Lee Yang, or 949-824-2566.

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