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Ruta Aidis

Even as women increase their participation in the labor force, they continue to work in a limited number of labor force sectors. This affects women’s entrepreneurship development since the sectors where women start their businesses mirror the industry segregation patterns of female workers. In addition, sectors where women’s businesses are most prevalent are often at a disadvantage since they tend to be highly competitive, labor-intensive, and offer low growth potential. In this chapter, we introduce a comparative and quantitative measure for assessing labor force balance as a tool for understanding gendered patterns in employment and entrepreneurship. We use this tool to explore the extent of occupational crowding for a 60-country sample. Our results indicate a wide variation amongst countries that cannot be explained by level of economic development or varying numbers of active labor force sectors. However, in countries with high levels of occupational crowding, adherence to gendered occupational stereotypes help maintain male-dominated and female-dominated sectors. Measures currently being taken by countries to remove the outdated and harmful macho cultures are highlighted not only for their positive impact on women in the labor force but also for women’s entrepreneurship development.

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Ruta Aidis

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Ruta Aidis

Women have been innovating alongside men, yet their innovations have largely remained overlooked or discounted, often because the innovation has been less disruptive or has focused on female-dominated activities such as services and household production. But historically, even when innovative activity by women has been disruptive, it has often gone unnoticed. This chapter takes a closer look at three highly successful innovative female entrepreneurs in Latin America. The chapter analyses the case of Leila Velez in Brazil, co-founder and CEO of Beleza Natural, an innovative beauty institute chain. It analyses the case of Maria Claudia Mendez in Bolivia, founder of Origenes Bolivia, which specializes in creating upmarket fashion and household accessories made from alpaca and other natural fibres. It also analyses the case of Carolina Guerra in Colombia, co-founder of Ingerecuperar, a hazardous waste treatment and recycling company. By exploring their business developments, the chapter uncovers some of the gendered impediments that exist for innovative women in the Latin American context. Some of the examples are universal, while others are clearly linked to the specificities of the Latin American environment.

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Ruta Aidis

Ruta Aidis’s chapter explains the influences of gendered stereotypes in entrepreneurship and examines the impact on growth-oriented women entrepreneurs and their ability to access leadership positions. Ruta suggests that, even when women leave the corporate sector to take on entrepreneurial careers and are successful in their ventures, they are limited by the entrepreneurial ‘glass ceiling’. Drawing on institutional theory and role congruity theory, Ruta explains that gendered impediments for women constrain their ability to access leadership positions. Ruta further shows that gendered stereotypes which view leadership as a male characteristic make it less socially desirable for women to grow their businesses and affect their ability to acquire the resources they need.

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Ruta Aidis and Friederike Welter

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Edited by Ruta Aidis and Friederike Welter

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Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Successful Start-ups and Businesses in Emerging Economies

Edited by Ruta Aidis and Friederike Welter

Little is known about innovative and successful enterprises in the countries that, until 1990, were part of the Soviet Union. Most previous research has extensively covered barriers to entrepreneurship and innovation that exist in these countries, some of which undoubtedly represent a hostile and harsh environment for any entrepreneurial activity. In this book, a different perspective is introduced. The focus is shifted to the innovative potential that these environments provide, demonstrating how entrepreneurs have been able to convert possibilities in hostile business environments into successful businesses. Through this collection of six in-depth case studies, the authors illustrate how successful and innovative businesses were able to develop in countries such as Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyztan, Moldova and Ukraine. Each case study presents an overview of the country’s key economic indicators and the role of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the economy, followed by the presentation of a case study of a successful SME.
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Edited by Ruta Aidis and Friederike Welter

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Ruta Aidis and Friederike Welter

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The Cutting Edge

Innovation and Entrepreneurship in New Europe

Edited by Ruta Aidis and Friederike Welter

This original selection of case studies from eight new EU member countries looks at the ability of entrepreneurs to develop innovative and successful firms in an environment of turbulent social and economic change.