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Irish family businesses offer greater flexibility for female leaders

Written by Robert McHugh, on 22nd Oct 2020. Posted in General

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Female leaders have greater flexibility working within their own family business than working for a non-family employer, according to new research from the National Centre for Family Business at Dublin City University (DCU).

The study ‘Female Leadership in Family Business’ looks at the lived experiences of women in leadership roles in Irish family businesses and the barriers to leadership females can encounter compared to their male counterparts. It was conducted by Martina Brophy from the DCU Centre for Family Business and was officially launched at the Centre’s annual conference hosted virtually at DCU earlier today.

Supported by the Irish Research Council and PwC Ireland, the study took place across a two-year period and comprised in-depth interviews with 14 female leaders in Irish family businesses of various sizes and sectors. 

While work-life balance can still be an issue for women leaders, the study highlights the greater degree of flexibility they have working in their family business, particularly for those participants with young children, with some  opting to work part-time, semi-remotely, or adopting a four-day work week to accommodate their family caring duties. 

As a direct result, these leaders interviewed were keen to adopt workplace policies within their own businesses and reported playing an important role in building a fair and supportive family business environment. 

Speaking today, Martina Brophy said, "Family businesses are inherently flexible due to their unique appreciation of managing both family and business dynamics. This research supports the idea that family businesses can leverage their flexibility to create an advantage over non-family competitors."

Source: www.businessworld.ie

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