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Carrie Hall,


WOMEN ON BOARDS While it is still far more common to see men at the top in family


business, and the gender pay gap closes at a glacial pace, some research suggests that inequality is less acute within family- controlled companies than other businesses. A 2017 study by consultancy EY, Women in Leadership:


The Family Business Advantage, looked at 525 of the world’s largest family-owned companies, and found that on average 22% of the C-suite was female, compared to 13% to 15% women in top management positions in the general pool of Fortune 500 companies. More than 40% of these family businesses told EY that


female family members had become more interested in joining the company over the previous three years, while 70% were considering a woman for their next chief executive. So what do family companies do differently? Carrie Hall, EY’s Americas Family Business Leader, says


long-term thinking, less hierarchy, and a strong sense of purpose all made family businesses more able to attract and retain women. Where women from the family were already involved, female


membership at board level could beget more female leaders in the wider company. Women could get a sense of “there’s a vision I believe in and


an environment in which I can balance all obligations, including family,” Hall says. “There has definitely been a shift within organisations,


creating a more favourable environment, with less hierarchy, more collaboration, aspects which help women to thrive.” On the other hand, Hall acknowledges there is still work to


be done. In 2016, PwC’s Next Generation Survey asked 250 potential


successors about how gender would impact their careers within their own family’s business. A total of 45% of women said their brothers or male cousins


were more likely to run the business in the future. Meanwhile, 31% of young men said it had already been agreed they would one day manage the company, compared with 21% of young women. PwC also found that 30% of next-generation women had a


seat on the board compared to 55% of the men. Almost half of women felt their gender could be a barrier to them running the business, and the women appeared less confident than their male peers: 77% thought the older generation had confidence in their ability compared with 93% of men. “Are women right to be so diffident, or are today’s


young women still tricked by the sort of self-doubt that can undermine everything they could otherwise achieve?,” the researchers asked. Hall says coping with the dual pressure of sexism and


the need to prove oneself as a family member could be “exasperating for women”.


ISSUE 74 | 2018 “


EY’s Americas Family Business Leader


There has defi nitely been a shift within


organisations, creating a more favourable environment, with less hierarchy, more


collaboration, aspects which help women to thrive


“Though men certainly face


the same thing in terms of people assuming they only got the job because of their surname. The advice is, get your head down, do your job and do it well and people will see your value.”


LAND OF THE RISING…


DAUGHTER? Resistance to women managing the family business persists more stubbornly in some parts of the world. It has been a long-standing trend for Asian families with only daughters to adopt a son with the view to him taking over and carrying on the family name. The first fourth-generation family


member to lead one of South Korea’s top 10 chaebol, Koo Kwang-mo, of LG, is such an example. He is the adopted son of former LG chairman Koo Bon-moo and was groomed to take over, despite Koo Bon-moo having two biological daughters. In Japan, 98% of adoptions are


adult men aged between 20 and 30, as bosses adopt promising employees. It is estimated that 10% of business-owning families without a male heir adopt one, with Toyota, Suzuki, and Canon among companies to have used this method to secure their next top man.


CAMPDENFB.COM 31


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