who choose this path take additional elective courses and complete a second SCOPE course that requires them to generate a business plan either alone or in a team. Interestingly, at this stage a gender divide is observed: while Olin faculty and student gender ratios approach equity, with women constituting 46 percent of the student body, just 25 percent of all students choose to add an entrepreneurship concentration and only 25 percent of those in the concentrating program are women.
Townsend suggested that this gender gap may result from the structure of the Olin concentration program, where students choose either an entrepreneurship or an arts/humanities concentration. Therefore, the numbers may not reflect a lack of women’s support or interest in entrepreneurship, but rather just be a factor of a difficult choice. Townsend remarked that compared to men, women are less likely to convert their business ideas into new ventures and often find it difficult to be assertive at networking events. Finally, Townsend stressed that her female students continually comment on the importance of hearing from female guest-speakers and other female role models as imperative to their confidence in pursuing entrepreneur paths.