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Exploring gender and social entrepreneurship: women's leadership, employment and participation in the third sector and social enterprises

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Drawing upon existing data sources we explore gender differences in leadership, participation and employment in the third sector and social enterprises. We find that women are underrepresented as leaders of private sector social enterprises, but are more equally represented leading or initiating third sector organisations. Within third sector organisations, more women than men undertake paid work, hold lower managerial and professional positions, and volunteer, but men take up around half of higher status positions. The gender pay gap is narrower in the third sector than in other sectors, and is lowest for those in the highest managerial positions.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2011

More about this publication?
  • Voluntary Sector Review publishes high-quality, peer-reviewed, accessible papers on third sector research, policy and practice. It is an invaluable cutting-edge resource for all those researching or working in the fast-growing voluntary, community and wider third sectors.

    The journal covers the full range of issues relevant to voluntary sector studies, including: definitional and theoretical debates; management and organisational development; financial and human resources; philanthropy; volunteering and employment; regulation and charity law; service delivery; civic engagement; industry and sub-sector dimensions; relations with other sectors; social enterprise; evaluation and impact. Voluntary Sector Review covers voluntary sector studies from a variety of disciplines, including sociology, social policy, politics, psychology, economics, business studies, social anthropology, philosophy and ethics. The journal includes work from the UK and Europe, and beyond, where cross-national comparisons are illuminating. With dedicated expert policy and practice sections, Voluntary Sector Review also provides an essential forum for the exchange of ideas and new thinking.

    Rigorous and stimulating, Voluntary Sector Review is an indispensable tool for everyone who values empirically-grounded, theoretically-informed and policy-relevant reviews of the future direction of the voluntary sector.

    Editors: Nick Acheson (University of Ulster, UK), Bernard Harris (University of Strathclyde, UK), Rob Macmillan, (University of Birmingham, UK)

    The journal is published in association with the Voluntary Sector Studies Network (VSSN) and a print copy of the journal is a membership benefit.

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