We are kicking off an exciting study on women in entrepreneurship led by Vivek Wadhwa of Duke/Stanford University and Lesa Mitchell of The Kauffman Foundation, with the support of Women 2.0.
By Neesha Bapat (Lead Researcher, “Women in Technology” study, Duke/Stanford University)
The good news is that more women have been entering the startup scene in recent years. But it’s no secret that women are underrepresented in the technology industry.
As board members, executives, entrepreneurs, VCs, and STEM employees – women still remain an underrepresented group. Particularly in the entrepreneurial scene, women are not nearly as active as they could be.
This is a follow-up to a 2010 study by the Kauffman Foundation, where they examined women entrepreneurs and how they differed from their male counterparts. What they found was incredible to some, but obvious to others. Men and women were the same in almost every aspect studied – they shared similar motivations, types of funding sources, entrepreneurial challenges, and much more.
The two groups were so similar that Professor Wadhwa joked that their paper could be just one line: “There are no differences between men and women entrepreneurs.”
The 2010 study suggested that both men and women could become successful entrepreneurs under the same conditions. But sadly, things in the real world are drastically different.
In our follow-up study, we seek to further our understanding of the challenges that women face, the advantages they believe they have, their motivations for becoming entrepreneurs, and experiences with mentorship.
Using the data we collect, we hope to encourage more women to become entrepreneurs and help fix the gender imbalance in the startup world.
I encourage you to join our effort by participating in our brief 10-minute survey here.
Women 2.0 readers: Did you take the survey? What do you think the survey results will be? Let us know in the comments.
About the guest blogger: Neesha Bapat is the Lead Researcher for the “Women in Technology” study at Duke/Stanford University. She was previously the Lead Researcher for the “America’s New Immigrant Entrepreneurs: Then and Now.” Neesha holds a BA in International Affairs from The George Washington University. Follow her on Twitter at @neesha_bee.