Gender-role Incongruity and Audience-based Gender Bias: An Examination of Networking among Entrepreneurs

Mabel Abraham, Assistant Professor of Business (Management) — an article published in Administrative Science Quarterly, “Gender-Role Incongruity and Audience-Based Gender Bias: An Examination of Networking Among Entrepreneurs.” In this paper, Abraham examines whether men and women who share networks extract the same benefits from them by studying how resources are exchanged among small business entrepreneurs. She finds that female entrepreneurs in male-dominated fields get fewer connections to potential new clients from a network’s contacts than do men. The reason women get fewer of these valuable connections is because network contacts anticipate that their outside contacts likely prefer or expect a man, especially in more male-typed occupations (e.g., expect a contractor to be a man). Her findings imply that simply having access to the same networks as men is not sufficient for women to extract the same benefits as men from those contacts.

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