the objective of this article is to determine the factors which influence the participation of colombian women in management posts or organs of government of family businesses (fb). a qualitative methodology was used, and a model was defined and validated through a type-iv case study. 14 cases of second- and third-generation fb were analyzed. three congruent propositions are presented from the results obtained. the conclusion is that internal factors (protection of personal wealth, professional development, and the conservation of family unity), and transcendent factors (contribution to the growth of the business, generation of opportunities for family communication) are those which most motivate women's participation. external factors (family conflict, work-family imbalances and the definition of a career plan) discourage participation. the fb must improve external factors to avoid the loss of talent and professional commitment of women.