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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

This Women’s Day, Don’t Forget About Women Entrepreneurs, Veterans And Military Spouses

Press Release – Today is International Women’s Day. This year’s theme is a call-to-action to progress gender parity. Two Syracuse University experts say in that push, it’s important to remember the role of women entrepreneurs and business owners.

Rosalinda Maury is the Director of Applied Research and Analytics at Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families. Her specialty areas include veterans in higher education and veteran and military spouse employment.

Maury says:

“This past year we have seen a lot of rhetoric and dialogue on the challenges and barriers of women in the workforce. Just like in the general population, military experience of service and post-service life differ greatly by service member gender.

“Female veterans are similar to male veterans in their responses regarding the positive impacts of service

  • 95% of male and 93% of female veteran respondents indicate that their service had a positive impact on their life.
  • 97% of male respondents and 96% of female respondents reported feeling pride from their accomplishments during service.
  • 96% of male and 97% of female respondents reported having matured as a result of their service. “

“However, results indicate that transition and post-service life are more challenging for female veteran respondents, particularly in regards to finances.

  • 67% of female veteran respondents characterized their financial transition as difficult or very difficult, compared with 47% of male veteran respondents.
  • 37% of female veteran respondents selected “loss of income” as a key transition challenge, compared with 23% of male veteran respondents.
  • There was a statistically significant difference in the time it took male and female veteran respondents to find employment after their transition, with female veteran respondents reporting longer periods of time.”

A significant amount of research has shown the proportion of women who start businesses to be lower than that of men. In fact, women are currently underrepresented in entrepreneurship in countries around the world. The existence of this gender gap has been attributed to family dynamics and a lack of resources and education for women

According to professor Maria Minniti, Bantle Chair in Entrepreneurship and Public Policy at Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management, in richer countries, an increasing number of women are entering high tech industries and more technical fields. With this background, they are starting businesses in related industries, but they are also starting businesses in highly creative or service-oriented areas

Minniti says:

“While women are still less represented in entrepreneurship than men, the gap is narrowing, especially in certain countries. The recent reduction in the gender gap in entrepreneurship is the result of two different things happening, depending on the institutional setting in which we look.

“In poorer countries, instead, we still have a large chunk of women who start businesses because they have no access to formal employment.

Knowing other entrepreneurs, having role models is very important for people who start businesses. Not only women, everybody. It gives us a point of references. If that person can do it, why can’t I? If you have a good idea and it’s something that is meaningful to you, go out and do it. Most businesses are started with very little capital and a lot of sweat equities. Leveraging the help of family and friends.

“The bottom line is that the percentage of female entrepreneurs is lower than that of men, but the gap is declining. Women are the ones who are starting businesses in increasing numbers and, if the trend continues, we are probably going to see this gap eliminated.”


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