"Women-led Firms and Innovation: Evidence from Philippine Enterprise Survey" by Imee Marie A. Acopiado, Jon Marx P. Sarmiento, Glory Dee A. Romo, and Thaddeus R. Acuña
School of Management
University of the Philippines Mindanao
Davao City 8000 Philippines
Keywords: enterprise survey, gender, innovation, logit, women
The Philippines ranked 17th in the world in terms of the global gender gap and second in the Asia Pacific region. Despite the pandemic, Filipino women are occupying senior leadership positions at 48%, which is considered the highest in the world. On the other hand, the country ranked 50th in the global innovation index. Hence, this research explored the link between women-led firms and innovation. Using 497 valid samples from 1,335 firms that participated in the Philippine Enterprise Survey in 2015, four models of innovation were analyzed using the logit model. These firm-level innovations refer to 1) products or services, 2) methods of production, 3) logistics, delivery and distribution, and 4) supporting services. Results suggest that women-led firms are more likely to adopt product and logistics innovations while the high share of women skilled non-production workers including managers, administration and sales may likely lead to innovative methods of production. In contrast, the high share of women skilled production workers negatively affects innovation in supporting services. Other drivers of innovation include share of largest owner, foreign-owned licensed technology, annual sales, direct exports, material inputs from foreign origin, number of non-production workers, capacity utilization, and hours of operation. Thus, while women in leadership roles positively impact innovation, the high composition of women involved in supporting activities such as maintenance systems, purchasing, accounting and computing operations may hinder innovation growth. To close the gender gap in innovation, firms may need to focus on increasing the participation of women in providing innovative solutions at the production level, particularly those involved in delivering support services.