In earlier chapters we considered how some women leaders are pushed into leading a family business and deal with finding themselves in the spotlight. Others build their own firm away from the original family business, where they can do things their way. However, another approach exists to women’s family business leadership where, instead of seeking to be in the spotlight themselves, leaders direct it elsewhere. Two cases illustrate this approach: Gloria and Cass. GLORIA Gloria’s journey, like Brenda’s, was a rapid introduction to firm leadership, but it was far less difficult. Even having entered, expanded and left the family business to start her own firm—now a listed company in Hong Kong—Gloria was still only in her early thirties. The first few sentences of the interview summarise her progress through life and business: Gloria: I was involved with the [original] family business [a large plastic moulding injection company in Hong Kong], for about 15 years, then I was promoted to a senior managing director position. Later on I felt that my personal vision was slightly different, and I would like to pursue something different than spending the rest of my life running a family business. So I started my own business and now I’m the founder of a listed company as well. I still provide some advice for my father’s company. I think I’ve already passed the stage of leaving the business. The listed company Gloria founded was also family controlled. She hoped to pass it on to her...
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