Female Entrepreneurs in a Female-Dominated Health Profession: An Exploratory Study
Vol. Volume 3, Number 1 June/1998
Carolyn K. Rozier and Mary Thompson
While seventy-four percent of physical therapists are female and there are opportunities for self-owned practices, the number of men who open practices exceeds the number of women. This study's purpose is to identify patterns that encouraged women to become entrepreneurs in a female-dominated health profession. Unstructured, in-depth interviews were conducted with nine female physical therapists. Processes and conditions of becoming a female entrepreneur in physical therapy (PT) emerged from the qualitative data. A model was developed to illustrate career as a function of time. The career paths of female owners of practices began with early management experiences. After practicing as PTs, a precipitating event sparked the decision to open a business. Consequences of being a woman entrepreneur in PT included an identity change and personal growth. The experiences of these women may be instructive to others aspiring to similar careers in health care.
Female entrepreneurs, female career paths, executives, small business owners