Understanding Gender Equality in Business in the Ukraine

Understanding Gender Equality in Business in the Ukraine

Dr. John Johnson, 2014 Fellow with the Center for Management and Entrepreneurship and CME Center Chair co-authored the paper, “Barriers to Entrepreneurship for Women in Ukraine” in 2015 as part of Dr. Johnson’s fellowship. To date, these findings have been published or presented in over 13 publications and conferences worldwide.

About the Study

As the region continues to face significant political change, Ukraine plays a major role in the sovereignty of Eastern European countries. Its citizens must continue to build commerce and work to maintain stability each day. This study investigates the impact that Ukraine’s present socio-political and economic structure has on female business owners who remain in the minority.

This is an empirical research (1000 quantitative surveys) study that identifies barriers and promoters of women entrepreneurship in Ukraine. As such, it reveals statistically significant factors that can inform effective policy making in Ukraine.

Additionally, this study is unique because it is one of the major large-scale studies in entrepreneurship after the break of USSR in nations that were part of the former Soviet Union. Given that this study is also a cross-cultural study that utilizes the western models and conceptualizations (e.g., barriers and promoters) of entrepreneurship to examine their relevance for understanding post-soviet national contexts.

View the paper: Barriers to Entrepreneurship for Women in Ukraine

About the Subject

The question of this quantitative study was to identify social and economic barriers to female entrepreneurs in the Ukraine. Factors considered included: government bureaucracy, lack of business financing, lack of qualified personnel, lack of government support and low self-confidence.

Key findings address:

  • Bureaucracy and lack of government support
  • Lack of funding
  • Prohibitive ideologies, namely misogyny
  • Three primary motivations for women in business
  • Ethical barriers

Why Does this Matter?

The findings touch on recent political disturbances in the region as a result of the Orange and Maidan Revolutions where the nation’s leaders took action against what was widely considered steps toward positive economic progress and there was upheaval as a result.

On a local level, unemployment is a serious concern within the Ukraine, but female entrepreneurs have difficulty staffing their businesses in spite of low qualifications. Identifying causes for these gender gaps in the workplace, especially in large business and leadership roles, is the first step toward diversifying and breaking down barriers and see a positive impact on the nation’s commerce.

Findings indicate increased female participation will significantly impact the current cultural climate of Ukraine business, and that significant changes are needed to grow female participation in the workforce.

Despite its focus on Ukraine, the research team believes the study is generalizable to some extent to the 14 other post-soviet nations. Future research is still needed to answer questions at the national and global levels.

PDFs showcasing this report’s findings are included in the link list below:

For more information, contact Dr. Johnson directly.