Int. J. of Entrepreneurship and Small Business   »   2015 Vol.24, No.1



Title: Men and women in IT entrepreneurship: consolidating and deconstructing gender stereotypes


Authors: Martina McDonnell; Chantal Morley


Télécom École de Management, Institut Mines-Télécom, 9 rue Charles Fourier, 91011 Evry Cedex, France
Télécom École de Management, Institut Mines-Télécom, 9 rue Charles Fourier, 91011 Evry Cedex, France


Abstract: Information technology (IT) plays a major role in entrepreneurship as a source of innovation and for the development of e-business activities. Recent initiatives, namely in Europe and the USA, encourage women to develop IT and web businesses. However, the gender imbalance remains, mainly due to persistent stereotypes (Clayton et al., 2012; Gupta et al., 2013). The main purpose of our research is to investigate whether stereotypes concerning gender and IT entrepreneurship are perpetuated or undermined amongst generation Y. Assuming that social differences between women and men are socially constructed, we adopted a constructionist and structurationist view to explain how gender stereotypes are broken down or reinforced. We conducted empirical research with male and female students participating in an entrepreneurial competition for entry into a business incubator. Our study suggests that subtle gendering processes, which we term 'gender stereotyping moves', can affect the stability of gender stereotypes. A typology of consolidation and deconstruction moves is provided, and two illustrations of structuring moves in practice are discussed.


Keywords: IT entrepreneurship; ICT; information and communications technology; information technology; gender stereotypes; gender stereotyping; structuration theory; constructionist theory; female entrepreneurs; women entrepreneurs; e-business; electronic business; e-commerce; electronic commerce; web businesses; small firms; small businesses; generation Y; Europe; United States; USA; entrepreneurial competitions; higher education; university students; tertiary education; business incubators; consolidation; deconstruction moves.


DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2015.066158


Int. J. of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2015 Vol.24, No.1, pp.41 - 61


Available online: 03 Dec 2014



Editors Full text accessPurchase this articleComment on this article