WLife Study: Women Leaders in Family Enterprises Survey

by Jean Santos | Feb 24, 2023 | Family Business Women

Women in family enterprises still have a long way to go to catch up with the positions, responsibilities, leadership and control of the family enterprise that their male counterparts have today.  For example, only 24% of family businesses are led by a woman who holds the rank of president or CEO.  Only a third of family-owned businesses have designated a woman as their successor.   More confounding is that the majority of female owned family businesses report high levels of family loyalty and alignment on key issues such as long-term goals, ethos, and pride in the business.  And in spite of all of these facts, women in family enterprises still must deal with deeply held biases and discriminatory practices that create imposter syndrome, lower work performance and limit progression into leadership roles within their family enterprises.

WLife is conducting a US based research project that examines bias and discrimination and their impact on women in family enterprises.  2023 Study: Women Leaders in Family Enterprises Survey.   Our collaborative team, comprised of Business Consulting Resources, SF/Gellert Family Business Center, LMU and its Entrepreneurial Family Business Center and Women Leaders in Family Enterprises 501(c)(3), will use a mixed methods research approach.  Previously, we combined individual qualitative interviews and focus groups as our means of data collection for the first two phases of this project.  WLife has launched a national study targeting women who are actively involved in their family’s business either as an operator, shareholder, or member of the family council. (Family by marriage or adoption is an acceptable definition).  The survey  consists of open-ended responses, Likert scales, and an imposter syndrome assessment.  The survey respondent pool will be developed via our research collaborators, as well as organizations that target family business audiences.

We are asking whether you will be able to support us in this research effort by completing the survey and/or sending the link to complete our survey to the family-owned enterprises within your network. WLife will be happy to share our research findings with you and will also provide you with a report of our findings that you may use in your various platforms and communications with the family-owned businesses within your network.

The trade publication, Family Business Magazine, recently noted, “diversity and inclusion are topics that should be top of mind for all business leaders” (Cosper, 2021). The objectives of this study are to raise awareness of the instances of bias and discriminatory practices that negatively impact family-owned enterprises and to provide a pathway to help families determine how to operate their family enterprises in a non-biased and gender-neutral way.

We need your support to help us reach our objective.  We appreciate your participation as early as possible and invite you to share the survey link with the women in your personal and professional network.  We need to reach a targeted number of completed surveys and can only achieve that threshold with your support.

Thank you very much for your time and consideration.

CLICK >> 2023 Study: Women Leaders in Family Enterprises Survey

Jean Santos is the President of Business Consulting Resources, a company that Jean and her husband and co-founder created over 40 years ago to help family owned companies achieve to their full potential and truly thrive.

About the Author

Jean Santos is the President of Business Consulting Resources, a company that Jean and her husband and co-founder created over 40 years ago to help family owned companies achieve to their full potential and truly thrive.