Lena Forsberg

Stable nursery for women leaders

Published: 18 December 2012

Women who work in stables and in horse-related activities develop entrepreneurial and leadership skills that they can benefit from at work, according to a new doctoral thesis at Luleå University of Technology.

- In the stable women are handling big horses, they spiks pastures and repair horsescups. Courage and decisiveness are rewarded, something that challenges traditional gender patterns, says Lena Forsberg, who doctorates in the subject Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Luleå University of Technology

Sweden is the country in Europe that has the most horses per capita. Approximately 7,500 companies are engaged in horse-related activities. The stable is a unique leisure environment, where women are allowed to develop both traditional coded male and female characteristics. The tasks in the house is often of challenging character, sometimes dangerous and difficult and requires action. It characterizes how these women then handle situations in the workplace and society.

- Women get a sense of thrift, power and influence that affects their identity and that has an impact on women's views on leadership and entrepreneurship, says Lena Forsberg.

In "Manege is raked, the girls and women entrepreneurship in horse related activities," Lena Forsberg describes how we better can take advatntage of women and girls and areas of expertise. The basis of the dissertation is the study of young girls in the recreational environment, employeers in the horse industry and women who spent much time in the horse stables and how they perceive that the team work affects them as entrepreneurs and leaders.

- It is the combination of the girls themselves performing critical chores in an environment with horses and much responsibility and that they work together with other girls and women, which contribute to expanding gender pattern and that affects the individual in depth.

Still, men are dominating entrepreneurship in horse-related activities despite riding and stable business, whih are dominated by women.

- In ten years, riding and stable enterprise, however, are likely to be dominated by women, says Lena Forsberg.

Text: Åsa Svedjeholm, Katarina Karlsson