Dublin City University is leading a consortium that has been awarded almost €1 million in funding to help address the gender balance in Ireland’s entrepreneurial sector.
The project, entitled “Overcoming the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Gender Divide: A Cross-Cultural Perspective”, will look at how gender affects women’s participation in the entrepreneurship ecosystem, and will specifically focus on technology.
The funding was awarded under GENDER-NET Plus, an EU-funded initiative that aims to strengthen links between researchers in different countries, and support gender equality through institutional change. GENDER-NET Plus is also promoting the integration of sex and gender analysis into research.
The consortium, which includes researchers from Norway, Israel, Sweden and Ireland, is being headed by Maura McAdam, professor of management and director of entrepreneurship at DCU’s business school. The DCU-led research project is a three-year programme.
The project is intended to provide new insights into underlying gender imbalances in the entrepreneurship sector, while also creating tools to visualise and challenge factors affecting innovation in the sector.
“There is an assumption that all entrepreneurs have equal access to resources, participation and support, as well as an equal chance of a successful outcome. However, my latest research shows that women are underrepresented in successful entrepreneurial ecosystems, and that a persistent gender bias continues to exist in entrepreneurship discourse and practice,” Prof McAdam said.
The inclusion of researchers from different countries will allow for a cross-cultural comparison that could help to explain variations and similarities with regard to gender in entrepreneurship ecosystems and also identify trends relating to gender in technology entrepreneurship despite different political contexts and structures.