Family Businesses Provide More Board Seats for Women

board of directors

Family-owned businesses in the U.S. are ahead of the corporate world in the representation of women on their boards.

According to a 2013 Deloitte report, Perspectives on family-owned businesses – Governance and succession planning, there are  5.5 million family-owned businesses in the US.  They surveyed 222 family-owned businesses for the report.  Approximately 70% of the respondents have revenues of $100 million or more and 25% have revenues of $500 million or more.

Of these companies, three-quarters of family-owned firms have a formal board of directors.  Of those reporting, 11 percent had boards comprised of 41-50% women and 16 percent have 31-40% women board members.  Contrast that to the 2013-14 UC Davis Study of California Women Business Leaders that showed that in the top 400 public companies in California,  women hold only 11% of  all board seats, and 40% of these companies have no women directors.

Opportunities for non-family board members range significantly, but consideration of a family-owned company may be a good route for women interested in serving on a board. Below is a detailed chart from the Deloitte report.

Deloitte Famly 2013 Study - Outside directors


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About the Author

Nancy Sheppard
Nancy E. Sheppard - Founder & CEO, Women2Boards. Nancy has a passion for helping connect people for mutual benefit. She founded Women2Boards in 2014 as a way to assist both corporate boards and women connect and improve gender diversity. Read More

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