Now you see them, now you don't: Gender differences in entrepreneurship

Ayala Malach-Pines, Dafna Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Purpose - While the numbers of, and research on, women entrepreneurs have accelerated radically in recent years, the rates of women entrepreneurs remain significantly lower than men's. Research has shown that subjective perceptual variables have a crucial influence on the entrepreneurial propensity of women and account for much of the gender differences in entrepreneurial activity. The paper aims to describe three studies that addressed gender differences in entrepreneurial perceptions, testing predictions derived from Schneider's Attraction Selection Attrition (ASA) model. Design/methodology/approach - Each study focused on a different subject population with different entrepreneurial activity. The first was a national telephone survey that involved 514 Israeli adults. The second involved 313 Israeli management students who responded to a self-report questionnaire. The third involved interviews with 101 Israeli small business owners. Findings - The results of the first study showed few gender differences in entrepreneurial traits and values. The results of the second study showed large gender differences in the willingness to start a business among management students and smaller differences among students who intend to start a business. Gender differences were far smaller among actual business owners. Alone and together the three studies support Schneider's ASA model. Practical implications - The practical implications of these findings are addressed. Originality/value - The paper provides valuable information on gender differences in entrepreneurship.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)811-832
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Managerial Psychology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2008


  • Entrepreneurialism
  • Gender differences
  • Perception
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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