How to Involve Your Daughter in the Family Business (And Why it Matters)

Elaine King

Angelina Perryman is the new face of Perryman Construction, a building and construction services company in Philadelphia, PA. Representing the third generation in their family business, she is the first woman to take on a leadership role in the company. 

More and more, women are beginning to take on essential leadership roles in multigenerational family businesses.

Does the next generation of your family business include young women? 

If you want to include your daughter(s) in the future of your family business, it will require you to intentionally make an effort to include her. 

So, how can you do that and why should you?

Benefits of Women in Family Business

Women are the backbone of many family businesses. How so? There are many wonderful benefits that women can bring to the family business. According to the KPMG report titled The Power of Women in Family Business, women:

  • Bring emotional support to help their businesses and families succeed
  • Are holistic managers and leaders
  • Bring a diversity of views which leads to greater resilience and adaptability

How to Involve Your Daughter in the Family Business

Are you ready to enjoy all of the above benefits in your family business? Here are some ways you can work to make sure the female members of your family can join in and lead in the family business:

Throw Out Social Norms

Traditionally, boys are prepared to lead the family business through everything from family dinner conversations to schooling, and mentorship. Give these same opportunities and treatments to your daughters.

For example, Angelina Perryman of Perryman Construction recalled in an interview how her father began involving her in the family business at a young age. For example, after school one day, her father showed her various logos and asked her opinion on them. Later, when she was older, her father asked her to type up contracts and read through them. Through these and other conversations about the family business, Angelina slowly became more and more involved and invested in her family’s business. After attending college, she took her current position as Vice President of Administration.

Choose Successors Based on Merit 

When you’re choosing the next leaders in your family business, make the choice based on merit and interest rather than other factors. According to Yashodhara Basuthakar, as quoted in the KPMG report, “While family traditions and social norms often impact the choice of women as successors, the research suggests that next-generation leaders will increasingly choose their successors based purely on merit.”

For example, it can be useful to set up clear job descriptions and requirements and then choose the successor based on the best viable candidates. Remember, it’s possible to find a place for all of your children in the family business if they have the skills and desire to be involved. 

Validate Her Skills 

Support your daughter in her skills, both on the business side and on the emotional side. Let’s face it. In society, we often overlook skills that are traditionally attributed to women such as nurturing others and emotional labor. However, as you can see in the above benefits that women have to offer, these skills are also important to family businesses. So, it’s important to encourage and validate women’s skills in these areas to help them grow into leadership roles and use these skills for the benefit of the family business.

Bring the best out in your family business by involving the young women of the next generation!

Do you need help creating a succession plan? Make room for the women of the next generation with the help of Elaine King! She’s been working with multigenerational family businesses for over 20 years. Make your appointment with her today!

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Elaine King - Family and Money Matters™ 2021
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