The key to long-term survival for many businesses is having a woman in charge, according to Cornell
Many businesses survive longer under female ownership,
according to research by Michele Williams, assistant professor
of organizational behavior in the ILR School, and Arturs
Kalnins, associate professor of strategy at the School of
“We find that female-owned businesses consistently
out-survive male-owned businesses in many industries and
areas,” Williams said. “Our study contributes to the debate
about gender and business ownership by going beyond typical
questions asked by researchers and policymakers.”
“We explore the often-ignored third possibility – that
female-owned businesses systematically out-survive male
owned-business in specific industrial sectors and regions.”
The authors found that many of the largest industries in
which survival rates of female-owned businesses outpaced
those owned by men were related to four broad sectors:
educational services and dance studios, clothing, gift giving
and alcohol sales and service.
“One of our more surprising findings was that eating
establishments that serve alcohol as well as drinking
establishments survive longer under female ownership,” said
Kalnins. “This goes against some stereotypes that restaurants
and pubs are male-dominated businesses.”
In cities with populations of more than 500,000, female-
owned businesses lasted longer. Elsewhere, male-owned
businesses survived longer, according to the report.
“For 25 years, economy-wide aggregate studies have not
distinguished between different types of industries. These
studies often show that male-owned businesses survive longer.
New kinds of studies will show that that is only true in certain
industries,” Kalnins said.
Williams co-authored the study with Arturs Kalnins,
associate professor of strategy in Cornell’s School of Hotel
Administration. The study is available at ScienceDirect.com.
PUT A WOMAN IN CHARGE
SOURCE: CORNELL UNIVERSITY —REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION