Gender bias in entrepreneurship
It is strange that we talk about gender inequality at work, but what we mean by that is inequality amongst employees – usually in a large company.
We talk much less about inequality amongst entrepreneurs. I suppose that might have something to do with the general perception that, as owners of a company, they are in a privileged position. But studies show that there is considerable inequality between male and female entrepreneurs. See these two articles:
And this is just scratching the surface. We don’t know, for instance, what the situation is in developing countries, or in semi-oppressive regimes, where both entrepreneurship and the female population may be affected by a lot more than obstacles in their access to finance, for instance.
First year students in Entrepreneurship are taking part in an initiative to study this topic, and report on the situation in their respective countries (since we have over a dozen nations represented in class). Stage 2 of the project will be to propose hands-on solutions, on the ground – policy-aimed, or business-focused, or both.
Watch this space!
It is all good and well to teach ethical theories in schools – and indeed, we live in a time when Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility have made it to the list of core modules in most Business schools, in both undergraduate and MBA programmes. If you wake up any business graduate student from London to Boston at 3:00 o’clock in the morning, they are able to list the four main methods of ethical reasoning – based on virtues, rights, justice and utility. And they will also clearly explain the differences between them, their respective determining factor, and their limitations.
But what does this knowledge do for these students, once they graduate? How exactly do they apply it, when they become entrepreneurs – or middle managers, or CEOs?.
I’d urge my Entrepreneurship students to start thinking about this, in the context of their plans to set up a small or medium enterprise. And write an Annex to their business plan, about what a “value-based approach” might mean for them, as young entrepreneurs – in the context of their own business concept.
Here are some relevant sources of information on ethical entrepreneurship, entrepreneurs and even a school for social entrepreneurs:
Ethical AND effective:
Decision making for managers faced with ethical dilemmas
Our business ethics and corporate social responsibility expert, Dr Ana-Maria Pascal, has partnered with experienced businessmen and consultants Chris Rees and Paul Palmarozza, to offer training on how to make sound business decisions when faced with ethical dilemmas. Whilst the main context of the decision making exercises in this course is the UK Bribery Act (2010), the most stringent legislation in any country in the world, the emphasis of the training is on acting ethically across borders and despite differences in value systems.
This is a drama-based training programme designed to help company managers establish and maintain an ethical business culture in their organisation. This entails not only legal compliance with recent legislation such as the UK Bribery Act 2010, but also knowledge of – and commitment to – ethical principles that can be adopted as strategic guidance for successful business operations.
Based on real-world situations, the training combines role-playing with legal updates and debates on ethical dilemmas. It can be provided both face to face and online. You will be immersed in dilemmatic situations (e.g. to give or not to give a bribe, in cultures where this is common practice); our facilitators will guide you on how to reason when faced with such conundrums, and make decisions that will benefit your organisation whilst also satisfying the moral demands of your own conscience. By the end of this course, you will understand the main features of The Bribery Act 2010, and gain the ability to use key ethical principles to make decisions in the everyday running of your business.
Both face-to-face and online versions of the course will benefit from videos recorded specifically for purposes of this course. Our dramatic videos are based on real-life business scenarios. They are scripted by a BAFTA-nominated scriptwriter, performed by professional actors, and filmed to TV quality.
- Dr Ana-Maria Pascal, Senior Lecturer at Regent’s University London and leader of the Corporate Responsibility Network
- Chris Rees and Paul Palmarozza, Founders of Principled Business