Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Women and Men again

Having finally got around to applying for my PhD, I find myself almost incessantly thinking about the possibilities and realise I am often high jacking conversations. My proposed research area is 'The role of gender on entrepreneurship in the creative industries' - you may recall earlier postings which cite a pilot study that I carried out in the West Midlands.

An example of this impromtu PhD chat came yesterday while working on the Agender project, which seeks to break down barriers and gender inequality in non-traditional fields, I met with a film crew, some of whom were beneficiaries and some of whom were film makers. We were recording some footage about men into caring profession but the ongoing conversation was all about the sector that the film-makers found themselves in and a very insightful conversation it was to.

The film makers, both male, highlighted a number of issues:
1. In their opinion women make far better negotiators and producers, they are less ego driven so more inclined to manage the projects better.
2. Going into a meeting in order to get funding worked better if you had a mixed team (although one of the men cited a number of occasions when working with his female partner, funders preferred to deal with him when negotiating got to a certain point, even though by his own admission she was actually much better equipped than he at these types of negotiations.)
3. They both identified that it was a very tough industry and felt that it was more so for women' they have to make a choice they either have children or not, but it is much harder for them if they do'.
4. They both said they came across a lot women working in the sector, however a bit of digging around and like my small sample identified, a great deal of women work in the sector but few run businesses. Interestingly they felt that a lot of women were responsible for distributing public funds to the sector.

So anyway these are just some insights offered, but for me the useful part of this discussion was it helped me to think about how I might capture the different genders attitudes to one another within this sector and their perceptions of the role of gender with in the sector.


Later in the year I will be off to the ISBE conference, as are many of my colleagues. This annual national conference is the place for all things related to small business and entrepreneurship. All things being equal I will be presenting a paper on the pilot study of female entrepreneurs in the creative industries - which copyright dependent I will make available from this blog.