Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University
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Abstract Details

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.

Keywords: Female entrepreneurs, female career paths, executives, small business owners