The Uniform Entrepreneur: Making Gender Visible in Social Enterprise

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This paper extends the macromarketing debates on gender by considering how gender ideology acts as a macro-level constraint to developing sustainable initiatives. While the macromarketing literature has long considered the significance of social enterprise and nonprofits, gender has not been theorized within these studies. In redressing this gap we examine the case of the Uniform Project, spearheaded by disaffected advertising executive and enthusiastic social entrepreneur, Sheena Matheiken. Our critical interrogation of the project shows that Matheiken’s path to becoming entrepreneurial “woman of the year” reinforces a gendered model of social entrepreneurship. We also expose the role of media and the forums designed to encourage social innovations in gendering, thus stifling, a social enterprise. We reaffirm the importance of theorizing gender ideology in macromarketing and submit that any such theorization must recognize and account for the ways that gender intersects with neoliberal ideology to permeate markets, marketing and social enterprise.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-458
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Macromarketing
Issue number4
Early online date8 Jun 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Jun 2020


  • Gender
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Social enterprise
  • Neoliberal responsibilization
  • Visibility
  • Fashion

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