Publication details

Gender Biases in Starting a Business: Results from an Experimental Evaluation of Start-up Plans in Slovakia


GUZI Martin

Year of publication 2023
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
Description The paper investigates gender biases and differential treatment of women and men in the business start-up phase. A sample of 498 entrepreneurs from Slovakia participated in an online experiment and evaluated three fictitious business plans in terms of the applicants’ competence, likeability, and the ability to succeed in business. Evaluators indicated also success chances of each plan, the amount they would be willing to invest in each of the start-ups, and selected the most prospective applicant. The start-ups were positioned in three different sectors—cosmetics production, services provision and software development—where men’s and women’s chances of success may be viewed differently. Following the Goldberg paradigm, half of the evaluators received business plans presented as written by women and half by men applicants, otherwise the plans were identical. Our results show that women are likely to be discriminated in the IT sector. Moreover, masculine evaluators assess women’s business plans and their prospects in entrepreneurship more critically. Since female evaluators scored higher in masculinity than men, our research implies that recommendations to increase the number of female evaluators may backfire against female applicants. Higher masculinity scores may prompt female evaluators to assess other women and their business plans with more prejudices.
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