About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 6157-6167
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-05948-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2018.2445

Conference name: 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 12-14 November, 2018
Location: Seville, Spain

A GENDER PERSPECTIVES IN HIGHER EDUCATION ON MEGATRENDS AND INNOVATIONS

K. Sorama

Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences (FINLAND)
Megatrends offer new innovation possibilities for female entrepreneurs. Female entrepreneurs often operate in the service sector, where digitalization transform the industry drastically. It has been shown that gender is a constraining structure within innovation systems (Sundin, 2012). Based on a wide literature review of gender and innovation, Alsos et al. (2013) discuss research paths related to 1) gender differences and similarities in innovation, 2) gendered constructions of innovation and 3) gendering processes of innovation. It has been shown that gender has an effect how innovations are implemented: women’s ideas are not implemented to the same degree as men’s (Foss et al., 2013) and how the whole construction of innovation is gendered with masculine connotations (Petterson and Lindberg, 2013). Alsos et al. (2013) suggest more research on understanding women’s innovation. In education it is important to note these gendered constructions and connotations in order to support female students and their career intentions.

This paper contributes to understanding future female entrepreneurship and nascent female entrepreneurs' attitudes towards innovation and technology. In particular, the study examines how nascent female entrepreneurs see the future megatrends relate to their own business and what kind of attitudes underlie in the innovation process.

The objective for this paper is twofold:
1) to examine the attitudes of women entrepreneurs related to future megatrends and possibilities for women entrepreneurship
2) to examine the attitudes towards innovation processes in their own business.

The data was gathered from female entrepreneurs and nascent female entrepreneurs in the region of Southern Ostrobothnia in Finland. The data consists of four focus-group interviews organized on February 2016. Altogether 28 entrepreneurs participated in the focus-group interviews: thirteen entrepreneurs and fifteen nascent entrepreneurs. In focus-group interviews different statements related to megatrends was presented to the groups.The data was analysed using qualitative content analysis.

Results show that women see many possibilities for new innovations in their own businesses. However, there are some psychological factors that hinder innovation processes of women entrepreneurs. First, the current mental models have an effect what kind of innovations they can see. The second is the gendered construction of technology. However, there was a difference in attitudes between younger, nascent entrepreneurs and older entrepreneurs. Younger nascent entrepreneurs did not feel the same way as older generation: they saw no difference between men and women in regard to technological abilities. Young female entrepreneurs embedded themselves in the digital age and felt no difference with men related in adopting or innovating new technology. It is important how technology and innovations are presented in different school levels. For example Fogelberg Eriksson (2014) showed in her study how a gender perspective can generate innovations within upper secondary school. In case of older generation, a life long learning perspective is critical: older female entrepreneurs need areas where they can reflect their ideas about their own business and possible new innovations in relation to new technology.

Analysis was made from the text data through systematic classification process of coding and identifying themes.
@InProceedings{SORAMA2018AGE,
author = {Sorama, K.},
title = {A GENDER PERSPECTIVES IN HIGHER EDUCATION ON MEGATRENDS AND INNOVATIONS},
series = {11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-05948-5},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2018.2445},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2018.2445},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {12-14 November, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {6157-6167}}
TY - CONF
AU - K. Sorama
TI - A GENDER PERSPECTIVES IN HIGHER EDUCATION ON MEGATRENDS AND INNOVATIONS
SN - 978-84-09-05948-5/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2018.2445
PY - 2018
Y1 - 12-14 November, 2018
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2018 Proceedings
SP - 6157
EP - 6167
ER -
K. Sorama (2018) A GENDER PERSPECTIVES IN HIGHER EDUCATION ON MEGATRENDS AND INNOVATIONS, ICERI2018 Proceedings, pp. 6157-6167.
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