E-commerce and data analysis. These are the two sectors that drive thefemale enterprise in Italy. Particularly, in e-commerce, businesses opened by women account for 26.8% of all businesses (4.8 points above the general average) while in the data analysis 30% of companies are female (8 points above the average). Research emerges “From the ceiling to the glass diaphragm – Female businesses and careers” made by Paolo Gubitta (scientific director, University of Padua) together with Paolo Ghezzi, Giovanna De Vincenzo, Serafino Pitingaro, Niccolò Stamboglis and Luca Vettore (InfoCamere) and presented in the ninth edition of DigitalMeet.
The Gender Finance Gap emerges
The use of the definition “glass diaphragm”, instead of the consolidated one Glass ceiling, highlights – reads the study – “a sort of gender self-selection, which leads (or pushes) women to do business in sectors traditionally conceived as women’s professions”.
In addition to Gender Pay Gap research puts an emphasis on Gender Finance Gap, that is, the difficulty in obtaining forms of financing, which in our country can be a key to understanding the persistence propensity of women to do business in the form of a sole proprietorship.
The burden of poor Stem training
If e-commerce and data analysis represent a lever for female entrepreneurs, the same cannot be said for sectors such as Internet services, where only 18.3% of companies are female, and of software production, where the share of female enterprises represents 9.9%.
A difference attributable to the “background of those who do business – reads the document -. The start-up of a company that deals with managing a portal, organizing data on site traffic and transforming them into analytics to support business decisions, developing and managing an e-commerce service on its own or in outsourcing for other companies, it requires knowledge and skills that fall within the variegated world of economic, managerial and statistical sciences in which the presence of women in university training courses is substantially equal to that of men “.
It is less in the activities with a greater content of knowledge of the Stem area, “How can be the production of software, consultancy on networks and information technology, the provision of telecommunication services and management of data networks”.
Data on female businesses
All in all 22% of all companies registered in the Business Register are “women” (in the sense of ownership and management mainly or wholly by women). But Italy is confirmed long and narrow: Center, South and Islands beat the New Industrial Triangle (LoVER, Lombardy, Veneto, Emilia Romagna).
The territorial distribution indicates a certain inhomogeneity and reserves some surprises. The highest percentage of women is in fact in the Southern Regions (27.4% in Molise, 26.4% in Basilicata, 25% in Abruzzo, 24.4% in Sicily) and in the Center (24.8% in Umbria ), while they are some regions such as Lombardy are below the national average (18.9%), Emilia Romagna (20.8%), Veneto (18.9%) and Trentino Alto Adige (18.1%). It cannot be ignored that in territories with a less lively entrepreneurial fabric and with fewer opportunities to undertake other professional or managerial careers, the opening of a sole proprietorship can be an alternative way to overcome precariousness.
The spotlight is also on on the role of finance. In almost 2 out of 3 cases, female entrepreneurs open one (62%) sole proprietorship: less risky but potentially less innovative. One explanation lies in the data released by Global Findex according to which it is more difficult for an Italian woman to borrow money from the financial system than it is for men, and respect for women from other countries.
It is evident that the lower propensity to borrow may derive from the fact that women do business in sectors with less need for access to credit, but it is also true that there may be some sort of segregation in these sectors, in light of the greater difficulties in obtaining credit.
Women’s businesses in Italy bring out, the study reads, “what we can call a glass diaphragm, a sort of separation that pushes, or confines, female-driven businesses in sectors that in the collective imagination are “female-oriented”.
The women in the button rooms
The presence of women in the button rooms is 23.2% on all the positions surveyed and therefore still far from positions of gender balance. The Board of Directors are 24.6%. Thanks to the Golfo Mosca law, in 2019 the presence of women on the board of directors of listed companies reached 36.3%. In management and governance roles, which are those that have the greatest impact on business strategy and management, the female presence is 23.1%. Women have 1.4 offices on average (compared to 1.7) for men.
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