Low percentage of Female entrepreneurs roots on Homophily
In the field of business founding, start-up, it is quite obvious that men are overwhelmingly dominating the field than women. This phenomenon has been discussed a lot in terms of discrimination among researchers. However, a professor of Wharton management Ethan Mollick states that the reason for such gap does vary, but in a social structural manner such gap roots on Homophily– a principle that homogeneous network surrounding contexts drive the formation of its links.
The Logic is simple. People tends to follow and like people who are like themselves. People related with the field of entrepreneurship are mostly male. Venture capitalists are male. The friends or acquaintances they talk and discuss about are mostly male. The surrounding link formations are all consisted of male, so it’s hard for women to get a funding from a venture capitalist among group where women are minority.
Mallick did an experiment to figure out whether the project being created by different gender made a difference, and two-third of women played the role as a funder thought project created by women were better than the project created by men. And what turned out from this experiment is that those of women who thought project created by women was better were “activists”, Activists women thinking that women are being suffered in field work than men and getting less opportunity than men. They choose to support women for better opportunities and better funding backgrounds to actualize entrepreneurial ideas. So what Mallick found here was another example of homophily. As there were enough woman funders who actually act out to support and make formation of link with women entrepreneur, women got involved in each other more and a chance for women entrepreneur’s further expansion got bigger.
Though Mallick also stated gender tendency as another reason for why men heavily outnumber women in entrepreneurship, the homophily principle gives a broader and structural view of why such gap could not be filled up. It’s a vast structural problem than expected but at least gave us which step we should step on first to fill up the gap.