Abstract: Female leadership is an expanding area of research. It is a popular topic discussed frequently in both academia and in the popular press. Despite this, comparative studies of the impact of female leadership on firm level performance between family and non-family firms are rare. The present study has the ambition to fill this gap. This paper investigates female leadership in family firms and how it affects firm profitability. A unique database of ownership and leadership in private Swedish firms makes it possible to analyze difference in firm performance due to female leadership in family and non-family firms. Even though much has been written regarding the role of women in family firms we do not know so much about how female leadership in family firms affect the profitability of the firm. The analysis indicates that female leadership makes much more of a positive difference for performance in family firms. The effect is negative in non-family firms.