Today, we mark International Women’s Day. The global day of celebration for the social, economic, and cultural achievements of women dates back to New York City in 1909 when activist Theresa Milkier proposed a “National Woman’s Day”. Other activists, including German Luise Zietz, suggested an annual event to promote women’s rights. On March 19, 1911, International Women’s Day was officially recognised and acknowledged by more than one million people around the world who sought to end discrimination in the workplace and demanded the right to vote for women.
Over a hundred years later, we have to ask ourselves what shape and direction our activism for women’s rights should take.
We believe the fight for equality happens not only on the streets or in the corporate boardroom. It occurs in each person’s mind! Part of the reason we established WiFB was that we wanted to encourage more women to share their stories, their expertise and their wisdom. It struck us then and still strikes us today that to fight inequality on all fronts, we must ensure better gender balance and diversity in thought leadership that informs the decision- and policy-makers everywhere and will significantly influence the next generation.
To celebrate female thought leadership in the family business space, we are proud to share this list of women authors and their publications:
1. Married to the Family Business: a Handbook for Spouses of Family Business Owners, By Sara Stern
Sara Stern is a speaker, author and consultant who decided to write a handbook for spouses of family business owners because of the apparent vacuum of resources out there for them. Though they might not sit on the board or hold an operational role in the business, spouses are at the centre of it all. They are often influential in decisions and are subject to some unique stressors because of the ambiguity of their roles.
2. Lifetime to Legacy by Nike Anani
Nike Anani’s book Lifetime to Legacy, aims to help business families navigate succession. Nike and Ramia explore the importance of relational values to family business continuity and discuss techniques that founders and next-gens can use to facilitate the transfer process.
3. Pioneering Family Firms’ Sustainable Development Strategies by Prof. Pramodita Sharma
Professor Pramodita Sharma is the Schlesinger-Grossman Chair of Family Business at the Grossman School of Business, University of Vermont. A prolific author and pioneer in her field, Professor Sharma’s work draws on her close ties to the business community as well as her experiences growing up in a family enterprise. “Pioneering Family Firms’ Sustainable Development Strategies” charts the journey of 15 business families showing a commitment to sustainable development through their work in a diverse range of industries and geographies.
4. The Ultimate Family Business Survival Guide by Priyanka Gupta Zielinksi
Priyanka Gupta Zielinski, Executive Director of MPIL Steel Structures Ltd., draws on what she has experienced working in her own family’s business to inform the findings in her book and present a unique manual to help family businesses thrive, even in times of crisis.
5. Growing a Sustainable Family Business by Saliza Abdullah
Saliza Abdullah tells the remarkable 30-year journey of her family business in Malaysia, and how, with a strong focus on values and innovation, they were able to become award-winning market leaders.