Women and Leadership

The State of Play

Deborah L. Rhode, Barbara Kellerman

Some four decades ago, Betty Friedan helped launch the contemporary women's movement with her publication of The Feminine Mystique. The book famously identified a “problem that has no name”: American women's confinement to a separate and unequal domestic sphere. One factor contributing to women's unequal status was their absence from leadership positions. Another aspect of the problem was the lack of cultural consensus that this absence was itself part of the problem and a matter of social concern.

Over the last several decades, we have named that leadership problem and created a cottage industry to address it. Women's underrepresentation in positions of power generates ...

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