Midland women are 67 per cent more likely to get a seat on the board of a family-run company than any other type of business.
That was the conclusion of a survey by top bank Coutts to coincide with the launch of a new range of services for family companies. The national survey found that 62 per cent of the 293 companies that took part had women directors.
That compares with just 42 per cent of non-family companies, Coutts said. Twelve per cent had female chief executives or managing directors.
The research also showed that family businesses rate low staff turnover and social responsibility as more important indicators of success than purely commercial goals.
Robin Potter, senior banker at Coutts in Birmingham, said: "The figures show that women are starting to influence and change the way family businesses are managed. Not only are women more likely to break the 'glass ceiling' within a family-owned business, but these same businesses are also citing a greater emphasis on 'human' traits in the way businesses are run.
"These same elements were considered to be more important when deciding upon business strategy and were particularly prevalent in this region where family businesses are 32 per cent less likely than their non-family counterparts to be influenced by commercial goals.
"While some may believe that women are brought into family businesses for reasons of share ownership and tax, it may also be a sign that the traditionally 'invisible' influence of women in family firms that has always been there, is now beginning to take a modern shape."