Insurers might want to think about ways to help women business owners protect employees who will be affected by business sales.

Researchers at the Center for Women’s Business Research, Washington, found that women who own substantial businesses are somewhat more likely than men to make the welfare of current employees a priority when considering selling the businesses.

The researchers who conducted the survey, which was backed by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, Springfield, Mass., interviewed male and female owners of businesses that were at least 5 years old and had grossed $1 million or more in revenue in the previous year.

The women interviewed were about as likely as the men to want to sell their businesses, and, like men, more than 80% ranked price as the most important factor in a sale, the researchers report.

But the researchers found that 86% of the women interviewed ranked plans for current employees as a top priority, compared with just 61% of the men interviewed.

Getting information about a prospective buyer’s identity, personality and background was a top priority for 72% of the women interviewed but just 39% of the men, the researchers report.

The researchers also found potential opportunities for financial professionals to start conversations with women business owners by helping them value their businesses.

About 67% of both the men and women who hope to sell their businesses in the next 5 years have no formal sale plan, and 43% have not valued their businesses, the researchers report.

Women who are selling businesses also may be good prospects for employee benefits plans and other business-related products, because 22% of the women interviewed who intend to sell their businesses intend to own another business in the future, the researchers report.