Regarding the research paper referenced by John earlier today, which suggested women simply don’t want to work as hard as men, it’s possible the authors’ research didn’t go quite far enough.
It may just be that some highly-driven women are interested in working hard, it may be that they just aren’t interested in working hard for “the man,” and instead, “sisters are doin’ it for themselves.”
A 100-question survey of 1,400 family-business owners undertaken by MassMutual Financial Group and Babson College, found some very interesting results.
The number of woman-owned family businesses has increased 37 percent over the last five years, now accounting for 15.6 percent of all family-owned businesses in the U.S.
The study also found that female-owned family businesses:
- Do more with less. Although female-owned family businesses are smaller in size over $26 million in annual revenues compared to approximately $30 million for male-owned counterparts they generate sales with fewer median employees: 26 individuals compared to 50 at male-owned
- Place greater proportionate emphasis on social responsibility, directing their philanthropic focus toward educational and community organizations.
- Are more than six times as likely to have a woman chief executive
- Are twice as likely to employ women family members full-time and are three times as likely to employ more than one female family member full-time.
- Tend to carry less or no debt than male-owned firms.
Regarding this final point, the study is careful to note that this “eye on debt may also in part reflect an
increased difficulty — versus men — gaining access to capital. Either way, the relatively low debt
load gives female business owners strong ability to weather adversity but may limit their
opportunity to fuel potentially higher growth through increased financing.”
Seeing this, is it possible that there’s been a serious brain-drain the last five years, with scads of hard-driven women opting out of the corporate culture to start their own businesses?
One such example is accountant-cum-bookseller Roxanne Coady, featured in Fast Company this month.