Doing Business with Gender: Service Industries and British Business HistoryBusiness historians have failed to recognize British women's participation in business. Beginning in the eighteenth century, English women overcame a range of socially constructed constraints to assume a more important role in financial and entrepreneurial activi-ties than has been hitherto acknowledged. Women's apparent affinity with the service sector in employment, self-employment, and business enterprise has encouraged a limited view of their activities, relegating them to a separate, female sphere, rather than viewing them as part of the masculine world of rational profit maximization. Several approaches drawing upon social and cultural ideas are proposed to rectify the prevailing blindness toward issues of gender. The eclectic methodological underpinning of British business history offers some hope that the topic of gender can soon be incorporated into the discipline.