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As you might imagine there are a hundreds of blogs, Linkedin groups, websites dedicated to family businesses. There are several that I follow and sometimes get really caught up in.
Recently there has been lots of discussion on women in family business. Of course there have been books written on this and research done on this etc. However I have been having a hard time grabbing onto it. I keep wondering why is there so much to talk about? How different is a capable women from a capable man? Shouldn’t the question be is the person qualified not what gender is the person? I know I know in a perfect world right? I guess my real question is what is all the talk about? From what I see of the NYFBC membership we have just as many women as active members as men. In fact five of our board members are women in family business.
I guess I need to keep following these blogs and threads on Linkedin to understand more of the differences as it has been suggested by someone that I start a women in family business roundtable at the NYFBC (this suggestion came from a man though) but I just don’t have enough information to pull it off. And I am not sure that I would want to separate the women and men as they seem to communicate and interact very well in the current roundtable situation. Okay, so maybe I should just try one event and see what happens right? Here goes, I am preparing to have a family business luncheon in April for just women. Next item, what are we going to talk about?
The research is proving to be interesting as I read the comments from other countries. It seems the one I am following now which was started over a month ago is talking about the women having the soft skills for the family business. Well that seems like a touchy subject.
Anita from United Kingdom starts this thread with - In my opinion it's the women that make things happen in the family business when it comes to ironing out conflict and inter family relationships. So long as they have had a strong parent to mentor them as youngsters.
Several days and comments later from Kathleen in Louisville - I would caution against making too many generalities about the "nurturing" and relational qualities or "soft skills" of women. Not only are many women not possessive of these qualities, but many do not want to feel pushed into these types of gender roles simply because they have been told that all women are/should want to and be well suited for the role of counselor, nurturer, facilitator, etc,
While men and women commenting from different cultures does make for interesting reading I still don’t see the difference between men and women in the family business? What am I missing?