Women In Family Business PWIFB public
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Women in Family Business

Women in Family Business

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WIFB is a global initiative that offers an opportunity to women from all over the world to share their insights and experiences with the family enterprise, connect with their peers, and contribute to the creation of a strong community.
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The art of communication is the glue that holds family businesses together, yet it's often the toughest nut to crack. Why do families in business dance around the conversations that matter most? Conflict, relationships, illness - these topics are the bedrock of our family dynamics but are often shrouded in silence. This silence can ripple through g…
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Passion, vision, and leadership play critical roles in determining the success or failure of every family business. However, while passion and vision remain constant sources of inspiration across generations, leadership styles vary and yield diverse results. Often a product of their era, culture, and economic environment, successful business leader…
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Interview with Meghan Juday, Chair of Ideal Industries Inc., governance advisor, and founder of The Lodis Forum, and Marina Vaughan Spitzy, founder of legacy planning firm, Tecolote Advisory, and fifth-generation family business stakeholder Whether gender bias exists within the world’s family enterprises has been unequivocally answered. Yet, despit…
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Interview with Eva Fischer Hansen, Family Business Adviser and Founder of Balance2Perform The reasons families choose to sell their businesses vary, but the subsequent, often distressing, process of moving on and navigating the unknown is an experience every former family business owner will inevitability face. For Eva Fischer Hansen, the strain of…
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In 2007, a phone call changed Haleema Al Owais’ life in an instant. The young mother of a toddler had just started a new position in her burgeoning television management career when she learned her father, Humaid bin Ali Al Owais, had unexpectedly passed away. Pressing through her shock and grief, Haleema resigned from her job and, along with her b…
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Dr. Yasmina Fechkeur not only ascended through cultural barriers to become a leader in her family’s energy services business, she also fought to bring new perspectives to the sectors she worked in with her family and as an entrepreneur. Working alongside her three brothers, and with the support of her parents, Yasmina played a pivotal role in upgra…
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Muna Al Gurg has been instrumental in shaping innovative approaches in her family’s firm.She fondly remembers the stories her father, and company founder, Easa Saleh Al Gurg, told her about navigating the business through Dubai’s early development period in the 70s and 80s. Those experiences helped reinforce Muna’s belief that the ability to adapt …
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An increasing number of women are stepping into key leadership roles in their family enterprises. Following in the footsteps of their business-founding mothers, however, remains much less common. This was especially true in the mid-1980s when Nancy Gudekunst answered the call to help her mother, Margaret Custer Ford, with the successful promotional…
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The knowledge that we will inevitably face circumstances beyond our control is part of being a business owner. The steep changes caused by the recent global pandemic showed the capacity of whole industries to pivot at seemingly a moment’s notice. The hospitality sector is particularly sensitive to these global ebbs and flows. Few nations know that …
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Taking over a family business invariably means confronting expectations. Whether it's the legacy of the enterprise’s visionary founder or the agenda of its board members, a family firm’s next-generation leader often contends with pressures that go beyond the already challenging task of charting a successful path for the business. But despite the ex…
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After answering her father’s call to help with the family business, Cecily McGuckin saw the need for modernisation and change in the company, ultimately taking on the task while also navigating the operation’s overwhelmingly male culture. While evolving to meet current and future challenges is an important strategy for every business hoping to safe…
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Family businesses have experienced significant turbulence and change over the last quarter century, which redefined the fundamentals of social interaction and triggered the restructuring of even some of the most steadfast industries and sectors. Technological advances coupled with societal and environmental forces have upended the status quo of how…
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A recent report by the International Energy Agency projects that renewable energy will become the largest global source of electricity by 2025 – that’s enough energy to power all of China in 5 years. Considering this revelation, it’s becoming increasingly hard to imagine a time when investing in renewable energy was a gamble, especially in oil-rich…
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Many family enterprises are known for their positive impact on their industries and communities. In fact, the most exciting entrepreneurial adventures and the most favourable change often results when a family’s values collide with systemic problems. But doing ‘the right thing’ isn’t always easy, and when ethics and sustainability are top of the ag…
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A recent UBS study revealed that 59% of widows and divorcees regret not being involved in long-term financial planning when they were married, and 98% would advise other women to take an active role in finances immediately[1]. With women’s wealth set to outpace global wealth over the next several years[2], it’s never been more important that women …
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A family member’s career in the family business often begins with the famous ‘call to action’. But a long and often challenging journey lies between taking that call and building a career that brings fulfilment to oneself and opportunities to the family. Navigating the complex mix of expectations and obligations can bring unforeseen shifts in relat…
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Today’s businesses face unprecedented uncertainty. Even before 2020’s pandemic fundamentally upended the status quo, disruption was taking the form of new technology, market globalisation, and ageing demographics. Companies have had to change to meet their goals, but have their boards evolved with them? The board room is coming under increasing pre…
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In its Global Gender Gap Report 2022, the World Economic Forum states that it will take another 132 years before gender pay parity is achieved globally at the current rate of progress. This is the context within which women seek to build their careers and businesses, and for many these challenging professional demands are compounded by expectations…
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KPMG Private Enterprise has famously published numerous studies and thought leadership articles on women in family businesses from across the globe, but none of these publications has looked exclusively at the role of women in Saudi Arabia. Until now! With the number of women in the Kingdom’s workforce increasing over the last decade, and women ass…
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In this episode of Women in Family Business, Sophia Rascoff, co-founder and CEO of Recon Food, talks about starting a brand-new social media platform with her father, being an entrepreneur in her teens and establishing a healthy work/life balance. She also addresses some of the issues surrounding other social media platforms and how these can be ma…
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As one of the top generator suppliers in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, employing more than 1,400 people, Jubaili Bros realises the importance of contributing to society and the environment. And with a range of ESG and sustainability initiatives that attract new talent firmly embedded in the company’s culture, they’re addressing these concerns w…
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In many ways, the experiences of women in family businesses in India are different from those elsewhere – especially those in the West, which has traditionally been the focus of family business research. And within India itself, the experiences of women in family businesses differ widely based on their social, cultural, economic, institutional, geo…
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On this episode of WiFB, Maissa Abou Adal Ghanem, Social Entrepreneur, CSO & Board Member of the HOLDAL Group, discusses how family businesses can build and implement successful ESG agendas that speak to the immediate needs of their community. Founded in Lebanon in 1947, the HOLDAL Group has embedded IMPACT in their everyday operations. Despite the…
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Family businesses around the world are increasingly focused on implementing a sustainability agenda in their often tradition-bound companies. Some have gone further than others by embedding sustainability practices and standards at the very heart of their business model, requiring significant changes to supply chain, governance and organisational c…
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On this episode of WiFB, Claudia Astrachan, Head of Governance, Generation6, discusses how to embed cohesion into the culture of a family business, highlighting the importance of doing so in an authentic way that works for the family itself. She considers who should take the responsibility of advocating for family cohesion, as well as contributing …
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Building an art collection serves not only as an investment and overall asset diversification, but also as a way of creating and preserving a legacy. Although traditionally dominated by high-net-worth males, the art industry is now seeing an increasing number of female collectors who are responsible for a significant share of the market. In the pas…
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Despite a significant shift in perspectives in the conversation on women in family business, women still face significant challenges when it comes to the roles they are expected to fill. Even today, women are frequently type-cast in positions that provide emotional support to other family members — chief emotional officer, for example — while posit…
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The Family Office is evolving in MENA and taking forms that are significantly different from the traditional construct first used by European industrial families to manage their wealth. Similar to most business and investment endeavours in MENA, it is the specificities unique to the region, its nuances, growth and dynamism that are also shaping the…
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In Latin America, family businesses are the predominant economic players. Their sustainability is crucial to national ecosystems, as each family brings unique cultural and economic contributions. However, like any regional cluster, these Latin American business families are subject to prejudice, myths and stereotypes that can limit their potential …
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When discussing women’s roles in the family business, we often fail to recognise how different perspectives can change the conversation. A shift towards this recognition is critical for empowering the next generation and promoting a more inclusive environment. Daniel Trimarchi, Director of Family Business Advisory at KPMG Private Enterprise in Cana…
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Business Consulting Resources (BCR) undertake an annual research project on the topic of women in the family business, creating a platform for women to share their personal experiences and shed light on issues that may have previously been overlooked. Through intimate one-on-one conversations with the participants, a collection of stories of how wo…
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For Mackey McNeill, owning her own business always seemed like the obvious choice. After many successful years of helping companies make better business and financial decisions, her daughter Sarah Grace joined the team, and the mother-daughter duo entered the world of family business. While this transition was not without its hardships, Mackey and …
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For Angelina Perryman, joining the family business was always part of the plan. From helping her father tinker with logos in the basement to typing up contracts after school, she – like many others – has been preparing for the transition to join the family business for as long as she can remember. While the transition into the formal workplace has …
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Over the past three months, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on many communities, families and businesses. While the global lockdown has presented many challenges, it has also provided an opportunity for reflection on our societal and business structures. One of the major flaws that the worldwide lockdown has revealed is our dependence on t…
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Nike Anani did not plan on dedicating her life to the family business segment in Africa. Fate, it would seem, chose for her. Nike is the founder and CEO of Nike Anani Practice, Ltd., in Lagos, Nigeria, where she helps second-generation family business members collaborate with the founding generation in an effort to build sustainable family enterpri…
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After being traditionally excluded from the succession process, women’s role within the family business is finally changing. This shifting trend coincides with the leadership transition from Baby Boomers to younger generations. The fundamental, generational difference in attitude about gender is helping to fuel this progress; however, as Professor …
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Through their Hawai'i-based consulting firm, Business Consulting Resources (BCR), Jean Santos and Ken Gilbert have more than three decades of experience providing critical support for family businesses across a wide range of industries. Over the last three years, Jean and Ken conducted a special research project to document the complex nature of fa…
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The path to success was not a linear one for Sharon Flynn. She travelled the world in search of the best fermentation practices for 20 years before returning to Australia, where she committed to putting her newfound knowledge to use. Her first task: re-educating Australians regarding their choice of food. Sharon’s passion for traditional fermented …
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Christina Foxwell knew something was not quite right; she just could not exactly put her finger on it. After working exhaustively, coaching and training executives in the area of management and leadership skills in Australia, she was not seeing the results she was hoping for. After a long and comprehensive reflection, it occurred to her that the is…
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In today’s technologically advanced and highly distracted world, we have more information available to us than ever before. While this increase in knowledge can be a great advantage, a level of mindfulness is required to let go of past experiences and expectations for the future in order to be fully present in a situation. Today’s generations are m…
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Throughout our life, we all inevitably meet someone we don’t get along with. In our private life, we can simply avoid these individuals. However, when toxic relationships seep into the workplace, the situation can become detrimental to the business as a whole. The workplace setting magnifies the details of our relationships. In some cases, existing…
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As a family business member, it can sometimes be difficult to find the courage to stand up for what you believe. However, it can be just as complicated to walk away from a difficult situation. Being brave means more than just having the courage to speak your mind. It means having the courage to believe in a better future, know who you are and be vu…
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Episodes of tension between family members are normal and quite common in a family business. However, when stress reaches a certain level, it may be a sign that it’s time to move on. The decision to leave is loaded with emotional baggage, but creating a dialogue that is free of guilt can help ease this decision and its terms. Moving away from the f…
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Passion and ambition are inextricably intertwined. Passion, our internal drive, is the force that guides our ambition and leads us to meet our goals. These two components are essential for a thriving family business. However, family members must be able to find their own passions and ambitions not only in the business setting but also in their pers…
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More women are graduating from business schools than ever before and yet, women are still vastly underrepresented in senior leadership positions. Why is this the case and what can be done to close the gap? Helping leaders reach their full potential is a focus area in Janice DiPietro’s work with clients as the Founder and CEO of Exceptional Leaders …
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Rhonda Steger does not regret leaving a lucrative career in the insurance industry; becoming an entrepreneur has proven just as rewarding. Her leap off the beaten path started small when she opened her own compliance firm, but passion soon drew her even further afield, first to retail and then wholesale. Today, she leads Cobblestone Living, a women…
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Every family business has a foundation of love and values passed on from generation to generation. However, love alone cannot resolve the issues that will inevitably arise from time to time. Family businesses also need to establish governance frameworks and a shared vision. Women can use their empathy and deep understanding of emotions to keep bala…
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