Article 4, Volume 1 Issue 2:

What makes a woman to choose to work in a family company instead of a looking for a position in the work market or creating her own company?: a literature review


Anna Akhmedova – (Universitat Internacional de Catalunya)

Rita Cavalloti – (Universitat Internacional de Catalunya)

Frederic Marimon – (Universitat Internacional de Catalunya)

Received March 17, 2014; accepted May 12, 2015.


Despite seeming attractiveness to women, family firms fail to attract females to high-level positions. Previous research was citing primogeniture, daughter invisibility and role incongruity among possible explanations. However, recent studies suggest that such “barriers to leadership” cannot statistically explain existing gap. Most of research loses sight that professionals with family business background have diverse career options and succession is only one of them. A review of literature on succession showed that men and women have slightly different understanding of extrinsic and intrinsic benefits and different valuing of transcendent motives. Furthermore, men and women perceive abilities and chances to success as a function of social experiences, which partially explains underrepresentation. In general, the literature on successors’ motivation is scarce and inconclusive. This research area will gain from empirical studies – both quantitative and qualitative, using humanistic and cognitive frameworks to study career intentions of young professionals and female incumbents of family firms.


A pesar de parecer atractivo para las mujeres, las empresas familiares no logran atraer a las mujeres a puestos de alto nivel. Investigaciones anteriores citaban primogenitura, invisibilidad de la hija e incongruencia de roles entre las posibles explicaciones. Sin embargo, estudios recientes sugieren que tales “barreras al liderazgo” no pueden explicar estadísticamente la brecha existente. La mayor parte de la investigación pierde de vista que los profesionales con experiencia en negocios familiares tienen diversas opciones de carrera y la sucesión es solo una de ellas. Una revisión de la literatura sobre sucesión mostró que los hombres y las mujeres tienen una comprensión ligeramente diferente de los beneficios extrínsecos e intrínsecos y una valoración diferente de los motivos trascendentes. Además, los hombres y las mujeres perciben las habilidades y las posibilidades de éxito en función de las experiencias sociales, lo que explica en parte la falta de representación. En general, la literatura sobre la motivación de los sucesores es escasa e inconclusa. Esta área de investigación se beneficiará de los estudios empíricos, tanto cuantitativos como cualitativos, utilizando marcos humanísticos y cognitivos para estudiar las intenciones profesionales de los jóvenes profesionales y las mujeres titulares de empresas familiares.


Akhmedova, A., Cavallotti, R., & Viadiu, F. M. (2015). What Makes a Woman to Choose to Work in a Family Company Instead of a Looking for a Position in the Work Market or Creating Her Own Company?: a Literature Review. A Literature Review. European Accounting and Management Review2(1).



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