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GCC family businesses provide female leadership opportunities

Nigel Nicholson, Professor of Organisational Behaviour, London Business School, comments:

“Family firms, which represent up to 80 per cent of the region’s non-oil economy, offer women unique opportunities to fast track into leadership positions.

“As we know from behavioural science, fitness to lead is not an exclusively male attribute. In new businesses that seek to avoid the failure of command-and-control, females may have as much or more to offer than the male members of a family.

“While cultural and structural obstacles still exist for women to achieve their potential, women’s growing presence in family businesses across the region demonstrates their ability to overcome such obstacles.

“These barriers can be broken down by supporting women in family businesses, encouraging their personal and professional growth, and developing them as responsible owners who transition into roles in the business world by choice, and when the time is right for them.

“This can be achieved by women having a sense of ownership over the fate of the business and through professional development in strategy, financing, operations and management of enterprises.

“More and more women in the GCC – where governments are calling for greater economic inclusion of women – are showing that they have a successful skill set and attributes that are valuable for the business world.

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