Women In Family Business—A New Report

An article about women in leadership roles that appeared in the New York Times on September 15, 2017, calls Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel an anomaly. Yet women are more likely to have leadership roles in politics than in business. According to Kim Harland, though, this is not the case in family businesses.

Harland is Managing Director of Insights, a not-for-profit organization operating out of Brisbane, Australia. Insights provides online education and tools to support the long-term sustainability of family businesses. Women in Family Business, their recently published e-book, offers a wealth of eye-opening facts about its subject—the impact of women in leadership positions on the health and success of their family businesses.

Here is a small sample of their findings:

Family businesses are more socially conscious than their non-family business counterparts.” And they are not as concerned with quarterly cash flow and profits, likely because they operate with far less debt.” A comment follows: “This this is truly a family-motivated attitude — what kind of leaders put their families at risk?”

“And that attitude, encompassing social and human awareness, may be one of the reasons why new research has shown that the world’s largest family businesses are far ahead of their non-family business peers in valuing gender diversity at all levels of the enterprise — from ownership, the boardroom and C-suite to every tier of the business.”

“…when women are included, they in turn support inclusiveness in the business. They help to maintain a close and cohesive family that finds value in being together beyond financial wealth. This cohesion shows all stakeholders that they are cared about, building motivation at all levels and creating passion that translates into performance, both financial and non-financial. Eventually, this cycle of care–passion–success becomes self-reinforcing, as success allows for even greater caring.”

The 40-page e-book reveals insights on women in family businesses seen through the eyes of the women who lead them. Illustrating its findings through case studies and Q&A, and culminating with an Action List for women in family business, this publication is well worth a read for both men and women in family businesses, and perhaps a place in your ‘must-keep’ reference files. 

You can download the e-book at: http://www.insights.org.au/women-in-family-business


Women—A Powerful Presence in Family Business

Some of the world’s oldest businesses are family businesses, and women have perennially played significant roles in them. From generation to generation women have served in one or more of these high-level capacities:

  • Business partner, playing a functional or organizational role
  • Senior advisor and business confidante to the CEO
  • The keeper of family values and chief advisor to the family’s upcoming generations.

Today women have become visible as prominent business leaders worldwide.

At the 4th Annual Global Family Business Event, coming up on September 29th, the keynote speaker will be Harshbeena Zaveri, leader of the engineering firm NRB Bearings and one of India’s most powerful business women.


*Previous speakers at this event have included:

Lena Jungell, granddaughter of Fazer Group founder Karl Jungell. Starting in 1891 as a small cafe in Helsinki, the Fazer family now owns an international bakery and confectionary company.

Ana Urea, one of the owners of The Privax Group, a conglomerate of predominantly fashion-related family businesses, now involving its second and third generations. The Privax Group is the current industry leader throughout Canada and Latin America.

Raya Strauss Ben-Dror, and her daughter, Nava Michael-Tsabari of The Strauss Group. Starting in 1938 with two cows, the company sold dairy products. The Straus Group is now a multinational family business and Israel’s largest food and beverage company.

*See past events at http://blogs.baruch.cuny.edu/fieldcenter/global-family-business-event-3/