Gender and Industry Preferences

There has been a marked tendency for women to establish and own business ventures in a range of industries different from those of their male counterparts. Historically, majority-female-owned small enterprises have been more concentrated in the retail and service sectors than have male-owned enterprises of similar size. With increased participation of women in self-employment, gender differences have tended to decline. In the United States, for example, the increase in the number of women starting in business went from around 5 percent of American businesses to close to 40 percent between 1970 and 2000.

With such a massive expansion in female entrepreneurship, it is not surprising that women have broken into nontraditional sectors, such as construction, wholesaling, and transportation. A Canadian government investigation of women entrepreneurs found ...

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