Barrett, Mary and Moores, Ken, 2008, Women Learning Business Leadership: Journeys in the Family Firm, in V. Gupta, N. Levenburg, M. Lynda, M. Jaideep & S. Thomas (Eds.), Culturally-Sensitive Models of Gender in Family Business - A Compendium using the Globe Paradigm, Hyderabad: ICFAI University Press, 121-140.
The family business literature has thus far not devoted much attention to understanding female vantage points in family firms. A few smaU-scale studies, notably Pom and Messer (2001) and Curimbaba (2002), describe the varying roles that women adopt, but without explaining why they adopt such roles. Our research aims to examine the career progression of women leaders infamily businesses, specifically how they progressively learn skiUs and competencies. In our book (Moores and Barrett, 2002) we found that successful family firm CEOs encountered a series of unique paradoxes. Exploring, understanding and perhaps managing these paradoxes took them on a learningjourney to leadership in which they progressively learnt business (Ll), learnt our business (L2, learnt to lead our business (LJ), and learnt to let go our business (IA). Here we seek to establish whether and how the journey of women family business leaders foUows different pathways. This chapter focuses on the 'long march, shorljourney' cases, focusing on women who have achieved senior positions in the family firm, but whose experiences differ greatly in other ways.