Dr. Maria Lugo, Associate Professor of Business Administration at Bridgewater College, has published research that demonstrates how resiliency varies by ethnicity and gender.
Lugo and co-author Dr. Lois Shelton’s research, “The Resilience of Minority and Female Entrepreneurs: A Look at Ethnicity and Gender,” was published in the Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship in December 2021. By exploring the resiliency skills of African American, Hispanic and female entrepreneurs, the study examines entrepreneurs who face great obstacles but still start more businesses than their White counterparts.
“Combining my passion for research and a thoughtful approach to the challenges minority entrepreneurs face today, our goal with this research is to provide an understanding of the effects of ethnicity and gender on entrepreneurship. By illustrating these marginalized groups’ strengths in entrepreneurship, we contribute to a more balanced, positive view of these groups,” Lugo said.
“The Resilience of Minority and Female Entrepreneurs” presents a model of resilience informed by the psychology and educational literatures which illustrate how particular experiences of minorities and women enable them to develop higher levels of resilience. In this model, the adaptive cultures of women and minorities equip them to overcome the adversity that arises from their social stratification as marginalized groups.
“Our findings in this study open new avenues for research, especially for resiliency across all marginalized groups. In a similar vein, contrasting and comparing the variations in resilience between genders within a particular ethnic group could lend to important new insights,” Lugo said.
Lugo, who has taught at Bridgewater since 2011, holds a bachelor’s in business administration from Sacred Heart University (Puerto Rico), a master’s of business administration from Metropolitan University (Puerto Rico), a doctor of business administration from Grenoble Ecole de Management in France and a doctor of philosophy in management from Walden University in Minneapolis. She has published in leading journals such as the Journal of Business Diversity and Glossa, and Lugo was named one of 10 under 40 business professionals by the Shenandoah Business Journal in 2014. Her work has won Best Paper Awards from the Diana International Conference.