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Breaking Norms to Get Ahead: Do Women Entrepreneurs Need a Dash of Psychopathy?

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A 2016 University of Alabama Study concluded that women with a benign touch of psychopathy (callousness, ability to put aside emotions to do a tough job, not afraid to buck gender norms) are more likely to become entrepreneurs. In this discussion with EIX's Kimberly Eddleston, successful serial entrepreneurs Susan Penta and Sandra Powers Murphy discuss these findings and how successful female entrepreneurs run their businesses.  The takeaways? Women have a more expansive view of "success" than men. The ability to do "whatever it takes" is an attribute that defines all great entrepreneurs, whether male or female. And if you have a daughter, let her mow the lawn.

Take The Poll: Do You Have Psychopathic Traits?

This three-minute poll will tell you whether you have some psychopathic traits.  Remember that a benign dose of psychopathy can be beneficial!

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Advice, Best Practices and Inspiration for Women Entrepreneurs


Additional search terms: women, feminism, female founders, women business owners, glass ceiling, sexual discrimination, sexual harassment, bias, opportunity, ambitious women, tough choices, women's management style


Kimberly Eddleston
Kimberly Eddleston
Schulze Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship / D'Amore-McKim School of Business / Northeastern University
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Cite this Article

DOI: 10.17919/X98M39
Eddleston, K. (2018, November 19). Breaking norms to get ahead: do women entrepreneurs need a dash of psychopathy?. Entrepreneur & Innovation Exchange. Retrieved June 19, 2024, from
Eddleston, Kimberly. "Breaking Norms to Get Ahead: Do Women Entrepreneurs Need a Dash of Psychopathy?" Entrepreneur & Innovation Exchange. 19 Nov. 2018. Web 19 Jun. 2024 <>.