The Guardian: From ‘mumpreneur’ to ‘lipstick entrepreneur’, why do we feminise work?

Guardian coverage of Shattering Stereotypes.

“I recently learned an important lesson in unconscious bias. Researchers at the University of Illinois found that people subconsciously assume that hurricanes with female names are less dangerous than the male variety so they take fewer precautions. The result? Higher death rates.

I am always interested in how we use words: the power they have, the perception they convey, the pressure they bestow on us. These days I think there’s a perception of cool about being an entrepreneur (which I welcome) so it would seem strange to me that women wouldn’t want to use that word – but apparently they don’t.

According to the Shattering Stereotypes survey on how gender influences entrepreneurship published last month by the Centre for Entrepreneurs and Barclays Bank, women dislike being described as entrepreneurs.

Its research found that females felt the word to be loaded, preferring to describe themselves as business owners or founders – which confused me slightly. What difference does it make? I am an entrepreneur, a founder, a co-owner: I wash the tea towels in my office (so that makes me the cleaner) plus I have convinced my niece that I am a Rockstarballerinamermaid (and that she is one too). I’m all of those things but I don’t feel any pressure from them.”

Read the full article here.