Women in Family Business

Women in Family Business by Patricia Annino

Annino addresses the psychology, relational and financial issues impacting women in family owned businesses: wives who want their husbands to retire; mothers who want to treat their children fairly; widows who don’t know whether to keep or sell the business; stepmothers who feel like outsiders; daughters who want their fathers’ approval; sisters who want the same opportunities as their brothers; and even a daughter-in-law or sister-in-law who wants to be treated with respect.

Written by a team of advisors, each of whom has more than two decades of experience consulting for family businesses.

This book provides women with the survival tools for taking care of themselves and their families.


Where were you 20 years ago? April 25, 2009
By B. Cohen

I wish this book had been around when we were involved in our family business! It is a comprehensive guide with extensive examples and very practical bullet points at the end of each section.

The different scenarios or case studies rang so true. And, although the realities are shocking and jarring to me (i.e. how women are STILL often regarded as second class citizens in family businesses), it is certainly better to be aware of the many pitfalls and develop a pro-active strategy.

A must-read not just for the women in a family business but everyone involved!


Highly recommended! A must read for every woman involved in a family business,
April 8, 2009

By Margit Willems Whitaker (Baltimore, MD)

Excellent advice for every women involved, or about to become involved in a family business. I also encourage the male in a family business to pick up a copy to get valuable insights on often-overlooked issues that happen every day in family businesses.

As a family business coach, I encounter the issues described in the book, and many more, on a regular basis. Moreover, having experienced many of the issues described in my own life – first as the oldest daughter and sister to a younger brother working in a family business, then marrying into a family business and becoming the daughter/sister-in-law, and as the widow of the successor son – I find that the authors did an excellent job in capturing the main issues females deal with in a family business.

For the spouse, the book provides excellent insights and advice what you should be aware of concerning succession and continuity planning (chapter 3), and estate planning (chapter 5). The information described, is often not included in a way that serve your best interest when succession and estate plans are made. Therefore, it is important for you to be aware of the issues and take a pro-active stand. The book is an excellent starting point.

In addition, I agree with the information on what you should know as a spouse, mother, daughter-in-law, aspiring family business leader etc. It takes a shift in attitudes and you need to see things for what they are. I remember, while growing up, I made a promise to myself never ever to marry a man who had his own business, based on what I saw around me – my own family and that of friends. As things went, I married into one and started to remember what my mother told me. The advice she gave me was priceless. The authors captured many of the things and is a `must’ read not only for the women already married into a business, but also for the ones about to do so.

Every family business is unique and, therefore, has a set of unique challenges; I find the authors captured the main issues and provide valuable advice and insights that can help you in your situation.


Great insight and advice, March 29, 2009
By Laura Colin

As an author, I loved the format. It’s easy to read with practical solutions to some common problems for women in family business. As the book shows, you don’t have to take a paycheck to experience the challenges in a family business.

Wish I’d had this little jewel 20 years ago when I married a man with loads of family business issues!!!
Congrats to the authors.