UCL School of Management

Research seminar

Eliot Sherman, Georgetown McDonough


Wednesday, 10 April 2024
11:00 – 12:30
Research Group
Strategy and Entrepreneurship

UCL School of Management is delighted to welcome Eliot Sherman, Georgetown McDonough, to host a research seminar discussing: Internal Venture or External Founding? Organizational Determinants of Gender Differences in Technology Enterprise.


Women launch new ventures at a much lower rate than men. However, evidence regarding the presence of a gender gap in intrapreneurship— that is, entrepreneurship within existing organizations—remains elusive. This is a significant omission, given the value that intrapreneurship provides to both nascent founders and established organizations. Accordingly, drawing from career mobility and gender essentialist theories of entrepreneurship, we motivate competing hypotheses regarding the existence of an intrapreneurial gender gap. To adjudicate between these perspectives, we train a machine learning classifier with descriptions of venture-backed startups from Crunchbase. We then apply this classifier to a sample of LinkedIn resumes belonging to 1,616,881 technology professionals and observe their career trajectories. We replicate a gender gap in entrepreneurial transition, but find a trivial intrapreneurial gender gap. This gap is attenuated beyond statistical significance in a matched sample, while the entrepreneurial gender gap remains unchanged. Moreover, women’s intrapreneurial propensity is amplified in firms where internal mobility is abundant and attenuated in firms where it is scarce. Our results invite a conversation about the efficacy of interventions that rely on essentialist diagnoses.  

Open to
Last updated Monday, 8 April 2024