Table of Contents

Growth-oriented Women Entrepreneurs and their Businesses

Growth-oriented Women Entrepreneurs and their Businesses

A Global Research Perspective

New Horizons in Entrepreneurship series

Edited by Candida G. Brush, Nancy M. Carter, Elizabeth J. Gatewood, Patricia G. Greene and Myra M. Hart

Enterprising new firms drive economic growth, and women around the world are important contributors to that growth. As entrepreneurs, they seize opportunities, develop and deliver new goods and services and, in the process, create wealth for themselves, their families, communities, and countries. This volume explores the role women entrepreneurs play in this economic progress, highlighting the challenges they encounter in launching and growing their businesses, and providing detailed studies of how their experiences vary from country to country.

Chapter 7: Women’s Entrepreneurship in Norway: Recent Trends and Future Challenges

Lene Foss and Elisabet Ljunggren

Subjects: business and management, diversity and management, entrepreneurship, gender and management


Lene Foss and Elisabet Ljunggren A. LABOR FORCE OVERVIEW The total population in Norway of persons aged 16 years and above is 3607184. Of this, 50.9 percent comprises women and 49.1 percent men (Befolkningsundersøkelsen, 2004). Six out of ten women hold part-time positions, giving Norway the highest percentage of part-time employees in Europe (OECD, 2001, Employment Outlook). The gender difference between the private and public sector in Norway is pronounced. In 2001, 63 percent of men and 37 percent of women are working in the private sector. The gender structure in the public sector is quite the opposite: 66 percent women and 34 percent men. There is a clear discrepancy between women’s management positions in the private and public sectors. Women occupy a steady 40 percent of managerial positions in the public sector, compared with 21–22 percent in the private sector. Compared with other industrialized countries the Norwegian labor market has a higher proportion of part-time work among women. Women put fewer hours into paid work than men. High female employment rate, in fact, ‘conceals’ low actual hours at work (Ellingsæter, 1999). In a study using aggregate data from nine advanced industrialized countries Rosenfeld and Birkelund (1995) show that the organizational power of labor and the proportion of employed women in the public sector have some of the strongest and most consistent effects on a country’s part-time female labor force. The authors argue that this is due to the large public sector in the Scandinavian countries, which,...

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