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Does your family business discriminate against daughters?

On Behalf of | Feb 6, 2023 | Estate Planning |

Running a family business can involve walking a fine line between professional and personal relationships. If you cross this line, you could wind up facing some unfortunate consequences. For instance, too many entities discriminate against daughters when it comes to them running – or not running – the business.

Double-exposure to discrimination

A recent article on this topic discusses the fact that daughter successors make up a very small percentage of women business owners in the United States. One reason behind this low percentage is that many daughters face discrimination from two sources: the business world and family leadership.

It is no secret that women battle discrimination in the workplace, despite the laws that prevent such misconduct. However, while a business owner may comply with these laws when it comes to their employees, some fail to take the same precautions when it comes to female members of their own families.

This double exposure to discrimination has made it difficult for daughters to land in the same leadership positions as their brothers and other male family members.

Avoiding discrimination in your family business

If you run a family business, avoiding the perception or accusation of discriminating against female family members can start when they are young.

For instance, you can make an effort to expose them and train male and female family members equally when it comes to prospective leadership roles. And you should avoid discouraging female family members from showing interest in the business.

If you ultimately choose a daughter to lead your company, be mindful of negative attitudes from other leaders and employees. If they exhibit discriminatory behaviors, you may need to think about improving training or dismissing them.

Choosing the right successor

Deciding who will take over your family business can be difficult, and the person you choose can have a tremendous impact on your company’s future.

Whether you plan to hand the reins to your son or daughter, another relative or someone outside the company, think carefully about the decision. Do they have the training and experience necessary to fill the role? How would they run the company? How might others take the decision? Is the person actually interested in running the business?

These factors, rather than a candidate’s gender, can point you in the direction of passing your business to the right person.