The role of gender in entrepreneurship education
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The purpose of this case study was to understand the gendered experiences women students have while participating in a university entrepreneurship program through the lens of the theory of gendered organizations. I completed this study at a four-year institution with an established entrepreneurship program. I conducted interviews and a focus group of women students, interviews of faculty and staff, class observations, and reviewed documents and artifacts. Through analysis of the data, three themes emerged: The Struggle is Real, which related to the unique struggles the participants had in the masculine domain of the entrepreneurship program; Super Women, describing the myriad of ways that women entrepreneurship students expressed their strength; and Relationships, acknowledging the importance of relationships for these women students. The last chapter of the study includes a description of the way that the themes represent the theory, indicating a gendered organization, as well as implications for theory, research, and practice. By implementing the suggestions derived from this study, educators can help women navigate this man-dominated environment, leading to more women entrepreneurs who can change the way things are done and create the millions of jobs needed, having significant impact on the economy and societal ills.
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