Women In The Driving Seat

In a special report conducted by EY in collaboration with Kennesaw State University titled ‘Women in Leadership – The Family Business Advantage’, light is shed on the importance of women in a leadership role in family businesses. Hereunder a summary of findings from said report which makes for an interesting read.

The largest, longest-lasting family businesses in the world are moving women further and doing so faster than their non-family counterparts. These businesses are the anchors of the world economy. Family businesses as a whole create an estimated 70%–90% of the global GDP and 50%–80% of jobs in the majority of countries worldwide. They employ vast numbers of people, dominate key markets, and are intrinsically important to their local communities and global economies — and have been for generations.

Family businesses are businesses that welcome women into leadership, and it is no coincidence that they are also innovative, flexible, focused and growing for centuries.

In the report some exceptional results were found as follows:

  • Family businesses average about five women in the C-suite and four women being groomed for top leadership positions
  • 55% have at least one woman on their board
  • 70% of family businesses are considering a woman for their next CEO
  • 22% of the average family company’s top management team is composed of women

A wealth of research exists to demonstrate that having women in leadership and strategic roles makes economic sense for businesses. It has been consistently shown in numerous studies that more women in leadership means better financial and all-around performance.

Research shows that family businesses believe in the value of women in leadership overall, not only female family members. Family businesses are grooming an average of four women for top leadership positions: one family member and three non-family members.

Family businesses offer a strong environment for developing women leaders because women can look up and see other women already flourishing at the top of successful enterprises.

The largest, longest-lasting family businesses in the world are economic giants with the power to influence economies and societies at the local, regional and global levels. And they believe in the power of women in leadership.

Developed economies seem to take the lead in promoting women to leadership roles as follows:

  • 60% of family businesses in developed countries have at least one woman at board level whereas 49% in emerging markets tend to promote women to board level
  • An average of 5.5 women in developed countries’ family businesses are in the C Suite, whereas 3.5 women in emerging countries’ family businesses are in the C Suite.

This report is based on survey results gathered from 525 of the world’s largest family businesses. The responses represent 25 of the largest family businesses in each of the top 21 global markets — Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, the Gulf Cooperation Council countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates), India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, the UK and the US. ‘Valid Research’, an independent research institute in Germany, used a questionnaire and conducted phone interviews in the specific country language with senior ranking family business leaders. Based on the number of companies contacted to achieve our desired sample size, a 42% response rate was achieved.

At the Family Business Office we can offer you assistance in dealing with family business issues through incentives supporting advisory and mediation services. Contact us today on [email protected]or visit our website at www.familybusiness.org.mtfor further information.