Skip to main content

Faculty & Research


Benevolent Sexism and the Gender Gap in Startup Evaluation

Journal Article
Women-led startups are evaluated less favorably than men-led startups, but the reasons for this require further investigation. Drawing on ambivalent sexism theory, the authors posit that benevolent sexism undermines gender equity in startup evaluation. The authors initially expected benevolent sexism to be negatively related to evaluations of women-led startups. Surprisingly, the authors found that benevolent sexism is unrelated to evaluations of women-led startups but is positively related to those of men-led startups — a finding that was replicated in two additional studies. The authors' work demonstrates benevolent sexism as an advantaging mechanism of inequity in entrepreneurship that boosts men’s outcomes without directly harming women’s outcomes.

Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour