The purpose of this short commentary reflects upon how feminist theory might be used to advance the contemporary gendered critique of women’s entrepreneurship. Drawing from gender theory, a diverse and complex critique has arisen to challenge the discriminatory discourse of entrepreneurship that fundamentally disadvantages women. To progress debate, the author suggests that greater attention should be afforded to feminist theories as explanatory analyses for such subordination and particularly to challenge contemporary postfeminist ideas which fuel a false promise of entrepreneurship for women.
A conceptual paper drawing upon extant literature to develop suggestions for future research .
Conceptual arguments challenging current approaches to analysing the relationship between women, gender and entrepreneurship.
Somewhat controversially, it is suggested that such a critique might encourage us to refocus research such that it challenges, rather than seeks to confirm, the axiom that under current conditions, entrepreneurship is “good” for women and society so ergo, we need more women entrepreneurs. Greater acknowledgement of feminist theory will also facilitate a stronger intersectional analysis, vital if we are to acknowledge how socio-economic and contextual diversity constrains or enables entrepreneurial behaviour.
This article challenges contemporary researchers to reconsider current thinking regarding the value of entrepreneurial activity for women.
The commentary concludes by identifying how the next generation of scholars might take such ideas forward to build upon established foundations.
Thank you Colette Henry for inviting me to contribute this article but more so, for your tireless advocacy for women in the context of entrepreneurship whether as an activist, editor, author or organiser. It was a privilege to contribute a paper to the IJGE in its formative years and to do so again – it surely cannot be 10 years! Over that time, it has been gratifying to see the journal strengthen in terms of status and influence. There will surely be more great things to come in the next 10 years; Rock on!.
Marlow, S. (2020), "Gender and entrepreneurship: past achievements and future possibilities", International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, Vol. 12 No. 1, pp. 39-52. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJGE-05-2019-0090Download as .RIS
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