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Elina Meliou (Aston University, Work & Organisation Department)
Illusio, capitals and trade-off: Why do certain women entrepreneurs believe that gender equality has been achieved?
Postfeminist scholarship documents the dominance of gender equality claims in neoliberalism and their implications for organizations, entrepreneurship and society. Using a Bourdieusian approach, we explore how the illusio of gender equality in entrepreneurship is sustained through a ‘trade-off’ between capital endowments and gender equality beliefs. That is to say, we show how certain women entrepreneurs are able to mobilise their capital endowments in exchange for gender equality, which in turn serves to entrench the illusio of an entrepreneurial field free from gender bias. Our analysis further demonstrates how those women entrepreneurs, who are unable to mobilise their capitals, break with the illusio of gender equality. The article makes a contribution to postfeminist scholarship by explaining how the wide-spread illusio of gender equality is sustained by a certain group of women entrepreneurs in the field of women’s entrepreneurship.