Gender identities and practices: Interpreting women entrepreneurs’ narratives

Previous research has shown that the discourse on womanhood is in conflict with that of entrepreneurship. This qualitative study examines how women construct their identities differently, finding that some of them perceive dissonance between womanhood and entrepreneurship discourses whereas others do not. The results indicate specific ways of constructing gender identity which result in gendered practices: how women act as entrepreneurs by ‘doing’ and ‘redoing’ gender. Since identity construction is contextually produced, other variables intersect with gender in establishing women’s status position. Women with higher status, engage in ‘redoing’ gender, trying to add value to it. The results offer new insights for those interested in promoting women entrepreneurs, by illustrating how gendered practices are used as strategic devices in doing business. In this regard, we argue that stories concerning women’s repertoire of business practices allow us to challenge the taken-for-granted assumptions of gender neutrality regarding typical business behaviour and entrepreneurship.

Welter, F.; García, M.-C. D. (2013): Gender identities and practices: Interpreting women entrepreneurs’ narratives, in: International Small Business Journal, Juni 2013, Vol. 31, Nr. 4, S. 304-404.

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