Paper The networks and success of female entrepreneurs in China
Despite population opinion in China favoring men over women, data on a large probability sample of Chinese entrepreneurs show that men and women build similar network structures on average, experience similar distributions of network advantage, achieve similar levels of business success, and experience similar performance returns to their network advantage. Digging into network content, male and female entrepreneurs have similarly close and trusting relations with similar kinds of contacts, with one exception, gender homophily: men are more likely than women to operate in a network composed entirely of men, while women operate more often than men in a network containing multiple female contacts. There is also gender pattern in contacts, reflecting conservative attitudes in the broader society: Women are the object of more interaction on technical matters out of the public eye, while men are the preferred contact for representation (men and women more often cite male contacts for help in founding the business, dealing with suppliers, and dealing with customers). The gender pattern is more obvious in the business contacts of men than in the business contacts of women, and more linked with business success for men. In sum, there is gender pattern to the networks around male and female entrepreneurs, but the network theory of advantage from access to structural holes similarly predicts the success of male and female entrepreneurs regardless of gender.
Published in: Social Networks
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