WomensNet News

April 8th 2014

New Study Says Women Entrepreneurs Shouldn’t Work With Their Husbands

A new study published in the American Sociological Review found that women entrepreneurs who start new businesses with men are less likely to lead those businesses. Furthermore, if they co-found a business with their husband, there are even fewer chances for them to be in charge.

Previous studies have only examined the issue of gender in equality in established organizations, so researchers used a nationally representative sample of 362 mixed-sex start-up teams made up of a total of 882 entrepreneurs. Seventy percent of the mixed-set teams were husband and wife duos.

“Our explanation for more pronounced gender inequality in spousal teams is that when husband and wife work together, they carry with them the cultural expectations for the male breadwinner and the female homemaker roles into the business setting”, said Tiantian Yang from the department of sociology at UNC Chapel Hill.

The good news is, Yang and his team found that gender inequality can be reduced when people adopt organizational templates, like signing a formal operating agreement.

When a formal ownership agreement has not been signed, men are found to be 85% more likely to be in charge.

Has anyone out there co-founded a business with their husband? How’d it go? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

And while you’re at it, if you’re launching or have already launched your own business (with or without a man), apply for our April Amber Grant. This month’s deadline in coming up quick!