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Women in Family Business: 06/23/09

I know a large number of women who are entrepreneurs. I have even tried my own hand at running a business. None of the women I know are in a family business because of the men in their lives. >Women in Family Business by Patricia M. Annino, Thomas D. Davidow and Cynthia Adams Harrison, though makes it sound like women are only ever in business because of men. It has to be the most insulting and least useful business book aimed at women I have ever read.

If you are to believe this book, women are only ever in a family run business at the behest of their husband, father or brother. The would never start a business and would never know how to run a business without men.

The chapters are labeled: wife, mother, widow, stepmother, daughter, daughter-in-law, sister and sister-in-law. Each chapter gets further down a presupposed patriarchal totem pole that I have only ever seen in one family run business (and it was by far the most dysfunctional company I've had the misfortune of working for).

Pity the widow who will be left clueless in the running of the business and will be pushed aside by her sons (and rightful heirs to said business). But worse still, a stepmother can expect to get nothing even in the form of a residual salary if her husband dies. The money will go to the ex-wife and her children.

In no place in this book is there any practical business advice. Instead there is talk of how to work with the men who run the business and how to ingratiate yourself to them. If you are a woman running a business or working as part of a family business, do yourself a favor and get a proper business book!

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