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Edited by Ayala Malach-Pines and Mustafa F. Özbilgin
Chapter 7: Gender Identity and ICT Entrepreneurship in an Irish Context
Anne Laure Humbert, Eileen Drew and Elisabeth Kelan* Introduction The ICT1 sector is traditionally perceived as typically male, as reflected in the low uptake of science, engineering and technology (SET) courses by women and the male domination of ICT employment throughout Europe and North America. Ireland is not dissimilar and, due to favourable business tax incentives and a highly ICT-literate workforce, the country has been successful in attracting some of the largest ICT companies, such as Intel and Hewlett-Packard (HP). This has led to a successful environment that fosters and sustains a large number of ICT businesses and employees. During the Celtic Tiger years (a very recent economic period in Irish history, which saw unprecedented growth in many sectors, including the ICT sector with the establishment of many multinational companies), Ireland was particularly successful but, just as in other nations, its ICT industry suffered following the dot.com crisis of 2000. However, by 2009 (the time of the writing of this chapter), ICT employment is still expected to rise. ICT entrepreneurs play a major role in generating new companies and increasing employment. Nevertheless, the contribution of ICT entrepreneurs is rarely examined in the literature, particularly in an Irish context. Chapter 7 addresses this gap in the literature by exploring the characteristics of ICT entrepreneurs in Ireland, in what is predominantly a male-dominated sector. It examines whether or not there are gender differences among ICT entrepreneurs and the relationship between gender, along with other social factors such as marital status, family status...
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