Success drivers of women who lead SMEs

Barriers and Facilitators of success for women who lead SMEs

In this research, we explore how women leaders of small and medium enterprises
(SMEs) perceive success, motivation, gender differences, barriers and facilitators of success. Quantitative analysis of the data from ten successful women leaders of SMEs suggest women define success as impact, finance and work-life balance and contrasts with the male view of success focusing on finance and status.  Motivating factors for women were the desire to create a positive impact and work to their own schedule. The research findings that childcare, finance, self-belief and relationships were barriers and relationships, work ethic, business acumen, sales and long-term planning were facilitators of success. Our results suggest that women seek to achieve personal and business goals and retain a balance between the two domains.


Research Findings Women SME Leaders F Kearns Oct 2016

Fiona Kearns

Fiona is an Occupational and Business Psychology researcher completing her MSc in Kingston University, London and is interested in Business, Psychology, Leadership, Speaking & Politics. Specialist Interest: Unconscious Bias and Leadership Fiona Kearns is a public speaking Specialist and an ICT business executive and experienced in delivering on KPI’s. As a coach, Fiona is skilled in questioning; challenging, delivering feedback and helping individuals speak up confidently. Within the ICT field, she specialises in developing and translating ideas into completed projects making informed decisions based on strategic vision and commercial analysis.

2 thoughts on “Success Factors of Women Business Leaders

  • March 1, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    Congratulations Fiona, on completing a very pertinent and important piece of research. My own experience of sone corporate cultures confirms your findings too. There is important open debate to be had about impact, ‘success’ and conventional definitions at work.
    Martin Egan

  • March 1, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    Agreed Martin its a really fascinating area. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    Fiona Kearns


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