The mother of all family business wisdom

Statistics show only 10 per cent of family businesses are owned by women. But senior females play an an integral role in family matters - and a new study shows they may want very different things.

While only 10 per cent of family businesses are owned by women, it is the matriarch, the spouse of the boss, who is often the link between the generations, nurturing the different parties like the husbands, children, grandchildren and in some cases elderly parents. She'll often play the role of confidante, diplomat and interpreter, healing family rifts. She, more than anyone else, knows the company’s history and the family dynamics, traditions and values.

But matriarchs are not only the glue that holds everything together. According to a new Pitcher Partners and Swinburne University study, they now play a significant role in succession planning.

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