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The Welsh Wire: Ana Gonzalez of Grand Valley State University


New research on gender diversity in family businesses shows that women tend to be more upbeat about business performance than men — but that changes if the women are in leadership positions, according to Ana Gonzalez, Director of the Family Owned Business Institute and Assistant Professor at the Management Department at Grand Valley State University. She was recently interviewed by Sheri Welsh for The Welsh Wire podcast, sponsored by the Family Business Alliance.

“What we found was a very interesting thing because women involved in family business, not necessarily the leaders but women involved, are very optimistic when it comes to performance,” Gonzalez says. “So if you ask a woman how do you feel the business is going to do by the end of the year, she would say very good — more than compared to men.”

But when the women move into leadership roles, they tend to be a little more pessimistic and conservative, Gonzalez says. She believes it may have to do with gender attitudes that judge women leaders more harshly for their business mistakes.

She says in terms of family business succession “maybe if we are training our daughters to become the future leaders, we should help them build the confidence to become more secure about their talent and what they are giving for the business. Letting them know if you make that mistake, that’s okay.”

Learn more about how gender diversity plays out in the family business environment when Ana Gonzalez talks with Sheri Welsh on this week’s The Welsh Wire podcast

Listen to Sheri’s full interview with Ana Gonzalez.

Subscribe to The Welsh Wire podcast on iTunes for additional informative, entertaining interviews with west Michigan business leaders.