Handbook of Gendered Careers in Management
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Handbook of Gendered Careers in Management

Getting In, Getting On, Getting Out

Edited by Adelina M. Broadbridge and Sandra L. Fielden

Handbook of Gendered Careers in Management provides an international overview of current practice and theory surrounding gendered employment in management, illustrating the impact of gender on key stages of career development.
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Chapter 24: What’s ‘woman’s work’? Work–family interface among women entrepreneurs in Italy

Silvia De Simone and Vincenza Priola


Women’s self-employment has experienced a significant growth in the last few decades (Gohmann, 2012; Koellinger et al., 2013) and the importance of its contribution to national economies has been recognized across the continents (see for example, Bruin et al., 2006; Huarng et al., 2012). This chapter focuses on women’s self-employment in relation to work–family interface within the Italian context. By the end of 2011, 23.5 per cent of Italian enterprises were owned by women, however, while these constitute approximately a quarter of the total number of privately owned businesses, they contribute a third of the small business economy. Furthermore, female entrepreneurship is growing at a higher rate than the general enterprise growth (0.5 per cent versus 0.3 per cent in 2012), and women entrepreneurs correspond to 16.3 per cent of women employed in the country (Osservatorio sull’imprenditoria femminile, 2013). While women entrepreneurs have been recognized as a ‘major force for innovation and job creation’ (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), in Orhan and Scott, 2001, p. 232), research has highlighted that the experiences and difficulties encountered by women when starting and operating a business are considerably different than those confronted by men (Neider, 1987; Kappler and Parker, 2011).

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