Women have evolved a long way from just playing an invisible role of informal advisors in their family businesses, women are now coming on par with men and having more defined roles, says the report title ‘Power of Women in Family Business’. The report has been prepared by the STEP Project Global Consortium and KPMG Private Enterprise, which surveyed more than 1,800 family businesses from over 33 countries. In India, the Thomas Schmidheiny Centre for Family Enterprise of the Indian School of Business (ISB) was surveyed with responses from 53 companies.

Further, the report has revealed that about 18 percent of family business leaders across the globe are women, and the highest percentage belonging to family businesses in Europe and Central Asia. According to the finding of the report, women are now enabled with the required education and are taking the measures to take up leadership positions in male-dominated industries such as mining, construction, and manufacturing.

The traditional role of women was nourishing and taking care of the emotional needs of the family and keeping it together make them holistic leaders with unique management styles.

It is said that women in family businesses, especially Millennials, are breaking down barriers and redefining how women in non-traditional businesses are perceived.

Furthermore, the report says, "Many highly competent women leaders are successfully managing their family businesses in male-dominated industries such as steel and scrap-metal processing, cement manufacturing, and the production of hardware products. They have the knowledge, experience, and skills in their business and are valued and respected by the employees and customers."

Besides, government push such as an amendment to the Hindu Succession Act in 2005, that conferred property rights to daughters, and the mandatory gender quota for women on corporate boards introduced by the Companies Act (2013) prompted family firms to have a higher percentage of women representation on company boards as compared to non-family firms.

The report has been co-authored by Nupur Pavan Bang and Yashodhara Basuthakur of the Thomas Schmidheiny Centre for Family Enterprise of ISB, Andrea Calabrò, director of the STEP Global Academic Director and IPAG Family Business Institute, IPAG Business School and Mary Jo Fedy, Karmen Yeung, and Tom McGinness of KPMG.