Recent investigations into business history have determined that women actually played an active and visible role in the modernisation of the contemporary business fabric. This disruptive idea is the focal point of our research project, the aim of which is to analyze the evolution of women in business network in Spain since 1850.
The economic industrialization process opened up a spectrum of investment opportunities, offered better business diversification, and democratized access to capital. The acquisition of social rights led to women participating in the capital and management of firms, but incompletely.
The hypotheses to be developed are related to :
- The absence of women from the debate about entrepreneurship, and their persistence in the collective imagination as incidental business owners or entrepreneurs.
- The appearance of legal new technologies for creating new companies or new financial instruments (new financial products for private savings, expansion of the concept of limited liability) which allowed them to access ownership of financial and commercial capital.
- The changes that have allowed women to access company management on all levels over the last 50 years. Together with the general objective of the international scientific community, the project hinges on three methodological approaches.
Although the study epicenter is Spain, a set of geografic scenarios will be analyzed to identify shared patterns that offer polyhedric explanations and go further than the mere descriptive of ‘counting’ the number of women linked to businesses in this country or that sector.
Our CHALLENGE is the DIVERSITY OF GENDER IN THE BUSINESS CULTURE, and it is defined within Challenge 6 “Social Sciences and Humanities and Science with and for the Society” of the National R&D and Innovation Plan. The same challenge has a clear place in the Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan (H2020). The project has the backing of several private organizations: Woman Forward (national think tank), OMEP (Association of Business Women-Murcia) and the Business Network International. The suport of public administrations will heighten the socioeconomic impact of the proposal. It will also allow recommendations to be made to influence policies related to female entrepreneurship and the fostering of equality in the workplace.
To carry out all the above, we have a solvent team of scholars in business history, social and economic analysis from a gender perspective, and institutional analysis. The international impact of the academic results is guaranteed by the prestige of the academic centers where our international colleagues are based (Yale-USA, CONICET-Argentina, the Russian Royal Academy of History, among others).
The FEMEM PROJECT 1850-2015 has the support of several private organizations: Woman Forward (national think tank), OMEP (Association of Business Women-Murcia) and the Business Network International. The support of the public administrations will enhance the socioeconomic impact of the proposal. This will also make it possible to formulate recommendations to influence policies related to female entrepreneurship and the promotion of equality in the workplace.