According to a new study by Emilion Business School, published in the journal Entrepreneurial Theory and Practice, women-owned businesses did worse during the epidemic.
Odyssey G. The study, conducted by Birhanu and his co-authors, examines the impact of the epidemic on gender differences in business performance.
They found that due to the epidemic, women-owned businesses performed worse than their male counterparts.
Based on an analysis of more than 20,000 businesses in 38 countries, the survey further reveals that the crisis has widened women’s sensitivity to economic and health risks – derived from a woman’s socialization and biology.
Their greater sensitivity to health risks can lead women entrepreneurs to make business decisions that negatively affect their business performance.
“This was further emphasized by the lockdown policies that increased work-life imbalances and forced women entrepreneurs to use their time and energy for their families instead of their business responsibilities,” said Professor Birhanu.
Researchers say the right response to public health policy in the epidemic has reduced the negative impact of the crisis on women entrepreneurs.
It has helped women entrepreneurs restore work-life balance by opening up essential social services and, more importantly, bridging the gender gap in risk perception by providing reliable and timely public health information and essential health services.
However, economic policy support, in contrast to health policy responses, did not seem to prevent the negative impact of the crisis on women entrepreneurs.
The authors suggest that this may be because female entrepreneurs have not received a fair share of financial support, or because their specific interests have not been well understood by male decision-makers who dominate the politics and policy-making landscape.
“The design and implementation of such economic policies may therefore be influenced by the same structural forces that put women at a disadvantage, such as patriarchal rules that disrupt the work-life balance against women,” said Addis G. Birhanu, associate professor of strategy.