Teaching About Women Managers and Women Entrepreneurs Across Cultures
Vol. Volume 2, Number 2 September/1997
Miriam Ben-Yoseph and Lisa Gundry
Miriam Ben-Yoseph is Assistant Professor at the School for New Learning, and Lisa Gundry is Associate Professor in the Department of Management, Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, both at DePaul University. The authors gratefully acknowledge the comments of two anonymous reviewers, the feedback from our students, and the support of DePaul University's Joint Council for Teaching and Research.
Although women constitute over fifty percent of the world's population, in no country do they represent half of the managers or the owners of businesses. In most countries, management is still seen as masculine, with obstacles for women to get into the recruitment pool, and many more to being hired. Therefore, an option that appears to be attracting an increasing number of women in industrialized countries is entrepreneurship. Inspired by these research findings, the authors designed and taught a course to students of two different colleges, focusing on women managers and women entrepreneurs across cultures. The framework for the course integrated culture, gender, and work. Topics such as women managers' background, experiences and circumstances were explored. For women entrepreneurs, topics covered included: paths to ownership, characteristics, sources of opportunities and barriers to growth. We also examined how women managers and women business owners function in the home and in the workplace, and we discussed the contribution of these women to the global economy and the local community. The purpose of this paper is to share some of the insights we gained from teaching this course and make some recommendations that could further enhance the learning experience for everyone involved.
Women entrepreneurs, women managers, cross cultural business training.