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While there has been growth in the number of women entrepreneurs in the United States in recent years, the percentage of women - particularly women of color - who decide to pursue an entrepreneurial career continues to be significantly lower than that of men. Entrepreneurship is a crucial enterprise responsible for driving innovation and economic growth, and increasing the representation of women, especially in STEM and medical (STEMM) industries, is critical to ensuring the nation's overall health, economic well-being, and global competitiveness.

On June 21-22, 2021, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and held a virtual workshop to explore the current structural barriers (i.e., policies, practices, or other norms that systematically perpetuate gender disparities) driving the underrepresentation of women entrepreneurs across STEMM industries and strategies to overcome these barriers. Participants included representatives from a variety of sectors, including higher education, government, nonprofits, and industry, as well as researchers, evaluators, inventors, mentors, consultants, and policy analysts, among others. This publication highlights the presentation and discussion of the workshop.

Suggested Citation

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Overcoming Structural Barriers for Women in Entrepreneurship: Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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12 pages |  8.5 x 11 |  DOI:

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