An Examination of Gender Barrier of Women Entrepreneur in Technology Sector
1.1 Background of the study
The technology sector is often the most attractive investment destination in any economy. The U.S. technology sector boasts companies like Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook, Netflix, IBM, and Microsoft. These companies drive the growth in the tech sector and the fervor around their long-term potential has them trading at price-to-earnings multiples that look ridiculous compared to almost every other sector. A large amount of this growth owes a debt to the buzz factor that technology companies seem to effortlessly create by launching whole new business lines that have never existed before.The technology sector offers a wide range of products and services for both customers and other businesses. Consumer goods like personal computers, mobile devices, wearable technology, home appliances, televisions, are continually being improved and sold to consumers with new features. Not only do they provide consumer goods, they also provide digital products. Whereas, the dynamism of entrepreneurship is seen to be able to help address the new economic, social, and environmental problems as globalization reshapes the worldwide economic landscape and technology development generates more unpredictability in the global economy. Entrepreneurship and innovation are increasingly seen as the foundations of a competitive national economy, and in most countries, entrepreneurship policies are strongly linked to innovation policies, with which they share many features and difficulties. New company formation is a dynamic process that introduces and disseminates novel goods, processes, and organizational structures throughout the economy. The decisive issue of entrepreneurship is transforming big ideas into commercial possibilities.
Despite technology becoming more essential in today’s world, gender disparities are prevalent in these fields, thus preventing girls and women from studying and working in technical fields. Girls and women continue to be excluded from participating fully, according to the United Nations (2020). Long-standing biases and gender stereotypes are steering girls and women away from Science, Technology, and Engineering related fields, which means that a large pool of potential skills that could contribute to economic development remain untapped. It can put major constraints on the individual lives of women and contribute to transmitting gender inequalities across generations. This has several negative consequences for (future) economic and social development. The scientific discussion of women’s entrepreneurship and women-owned and operated businesses is a recent phenomenon from the 1980s. Although we see a lot more women in business, current studies indicate that the majority of them work in Micro and Small Businesses (MSEs), but ownership of Tech-Start-Ups is not evident. Women have encountered numerous difficulties connected with entrepreneurship throughout the process of entrepreneurship, and these difficulties are compounded by their dual position as wage workers and homemakers.
Hence, from a rights-based perspective, the under representation of girls and women in technology-fields means that they will continue to be denied the same opportunities as boys and men to develop careers in potentially lucrative existing and emerging areas of the labour market and entrepreneurship. If girls and women are profiting less than boys and men from these relatively large employment-and income-generating opportunities, existing inequalities in the technological sector can perpetuate wider gender inequalities in labour market opportunities and income.
1.2 Statement of the problem
Women’s entrepreneurship is a growing global phenomenon, attracting considerable research attention during the last few decades. Despite the significant contribution of women’s entrepreneurship, it still faces numerous barriers and challenges, especially when they are restrained from certain fields, which can hinder their success. Some studies indicate that many women entrepreneurs are found working in difficult situations when compared to their male counterparts as a result of several factors. Factors such as religious beliefs, political instability, poor infrastructure, high production costs, and a non-conducive business environment affect more women entrepreneurs than men in the said region.
In Africa, societies have made it hard for women to thrive in some sectors, especially technology related fields, owing to their gender make up, where they are seen to be frail and weak to handle the stress that comes with such fields. On the business side, companies are dependent on innovations coming out of the technology sector to create their enterprise software, manage their logistics systems, protect their databases, and generally provide the critical information and services that allow companies to make strategic business decisions. There has been increasing concern among policy-makers and practitioners about the under-representation of girls and women in the technology sector. Previous studies by UNESCO indicates that gender difference in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)courses participation at the expense of girls are already visible in their early childhood an and become more visible at higher levels of education. Girls appear to lose interest in STEM subjects with age, and lower levels of participation are already seen in advanced studies at secondary level hence can not compete with male counterpart when it comes to owning and running tech-firms.Gender differences also exist in tech related disciplines, especially when it comes to women tech entrepreneurs, with the lowest female starting up Tech Organization couple with the current economic situation is exacerbated by a very hostile business climate, which leaves women with no option than to engaging in other start-ups instead of choosing Technology Fields. Therefore, it is upon this premise that this study seeks to examine the gender barriers of women entrepreneurs in the technology sector.
1.3 Objective of the study
The main focus of this study is to examine gender barrier of women entrepreneur in technology sector. Specifically the study seeks:
- To examine the nature of preference given to men tech sector rather than women
- To investigate the factors leads to gender disparity in tech industry
- To unveil the barriers limiting women from being fully represented in tech sector
1.4 Research Hypothesis
The research is guided by the following hypothesis
HO1: There are no known barriers limiting women entrepreneur in tech sector.
HO2: Gender difference does not have any significant effect on scanty representation of women in tech sector.
1.5 Significance of the study
Findings from the study will narrow the gap in entrepreneurship, and lead to the elimination of gender disparities in outstanding field which has recorded low proportion of women.This study will help in filling in the gap in the existing literature about gender disparities in entrepreneurship and also provide information that may help agencies make sound organizational decisions.This study also aids in finding out the impact of tech incubators on entrepreneurial success.This study also aids in finding out the impact of tech incubators on entrepreneurial success.
1.6 Scope of the study
The scope of the study borders on An examination of gender barrier of women entrepreneur in technology sector. The study is therefore delimited to selected tech companies in Lagos State.
1.7 Limitation of the study
The following factors poses to be a limitation during the course of this research
Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 Definition of terms
Gender disparity: Gender disparity refers to unequal treatment or perceptions of individuals based on their gender. It arises from differences in socially constructed gender roles.
Barrier: A barrier is something such as a fence or wall that is put in place to prevent people from moving easily from one area to another
Tech Sector:The technology sector is the category of stocks relating to the research, development, or distribution of technologically based goods and services. The technology sector offers a wide arrange of products and services for both customers and other businesses.The technology sector is vast, comprising gadget makers, software developers, wireless providers, streaming services, semiconductor and digital products.