See It. Be It.: Women Entrepreneurs Beyond the Stereotypes
Stereotypes are assumptions that associate certain characteristics with groups of people (positive and negative), which are often deeply embedded in our culture.
Stereotypes lead us to categorize people into general groups based on various attributes, such as sex or occupation, creating beliefs and thoughts about the characteristics and behavior of members of these groups: “A potential for prejudice exists when [people] hold a stereotype about a social group that is incongruent with the attributes that are thought to be required for success.”
Stereotypes and related assumptions shape every level of the ecosystem:
- Societal level: Stereotypes affect how people are represented in the media, how policies are framed, how infrastructure is developed, and how systems operate.
- Organizational level: Stereotypes affect organizational strategies and programs and are often reinforced in organizational culture.
- Individual level: Stereotypes shape individual beliefs, choices, and behaviour.