Fostering Entrepreneurship at the Spanish University: Does Gender Matter?

Fostering Entrepreneurship at the Spanish University: Does Gender Matter?

Inmaculada Pastor-Gosálbez (Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain), Ana Isabel Blanco (Universidad de León, Spain), Adelina Rodríguez (Universidad de León, Spain), Ana Acosta (Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain), Paloma Pontón (Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain) and Angel Belzunegui-Eraso (Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9567-2.ch031
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In this chapter we discuss the policies for fostering entrepreneurship at Spanish universities and how these policies may be related with the low participation of women in university spin-offs. Using our results from the first part of the EQUASPIN project1, we also discuss the effects of the gender division of labour on the creation of freelance work within the specific framework of knowledge-transfer companies. We also present some of our findings with regard to gender differences in both the creation of spin-offs and the role of the university system in the production and reproduction of gender inequalities.
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Universities are strongly committed to fostering knowledge transfer activities and exploiting the results of research conducted on their premises. To aid this process in Spain, Spanish universities have created the OTRI (Offices for the Transfer of Research Results). These Offices play an important role in promoting the creation of enterprises linked to universities.

Since the participation of women in university entrepreneurship is low, it is important to review the relationship between the university system and the production and reproduction of gender inequalities. With this aim the EQUASPIN project: women's participation in the labour market. The case of University spin-offs in Spain was created with the participation of universities from four Spanish Autonomous Communities.

In this chapter we review the regulations of the OTRI that participate in EQUASPIN, describe their functions, and observe how they operate bearing in mind the principles of equal opportunities for women and men. We will also analyse the discourse of OTRI technical staff with special attention paid to how they deal with these issues, which we consider particularly important in the process by which enterprises linked to Universities (especially spin-offs) are created, maintained and sometimes dissolved. Organic Law 3/2007 of 22 March, on the Effective Equality of Women and Men (hereinafter the LOIEMH) will serve as a guide on these issues. Although this Law has helped to make clear progress in the empowerment of women and their use of time, the end result has so far proved unsatisfactory.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Gender: Refers to the attitudes, feelings, and behaviors that a given culture associates with a person’s biological sex. Behavior that is compatible with cultural expectations is referred to as gender-normative; behaviors that are viewed as incompatible with these expectations constitute gender non conformity (APA).

Spin-Off: A company that is founded by a faculty member, staff member, or student who left the university to start a company or who started the company while still affiliated with the university; and/or around a technology or technology-based idea developed within the university ( Peñafiel, 2010 ).

Gendered Entrepreneurship: The hypothesis that entrepreneurship (as a business creation strategy for income generation that is more likely to appear under particular sets of material, cultural and social conditions) has gendered patterns ( Brickman, 2008 ).

Gender Division of Labour: The result of how each society divides work among men and among women according to what is considered suitable or appropriate to each gender (UNESCO).

Organizations: An instrument or means for achieving defined objectives. Its design specifies how goals are subdivided and reflected in subdivisions of the organization. Divisions, departments, sections, positions, jobs, and tasks make up this work structure (Gibb, 1970 AU65: The in-text citation "Gibb, 1970" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ).

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