Handbook of Research on Gender and Leadership

Although some progress has been made in recent decades in getting women into top positions in government, business and education, there are on-going, persisting challenges with efforts to improve the opportunities for women in leadership. The Handbook of Research on Gender and Leadership comprises the latest research from the world’s foremost scholars on women and leadership, exposing problems and offering both theoretical and practical solutions on how to best strengthen the impact of women around the world.

The Handbook provides a brief overview of the current state of women in global leadership, explores theories (both established and emerging) focused specifically on women, and examines with both theoretical and empirical research some of the factors that influence women’s motivations to lead. The authors delineate some of the most persistent barriers to women’s leadership success and concludes with the latest research findings on how to best develop women leaders to improve their status worldwide.

The Handbook of Research on Gender and Leadership will appeal to scholars and advanced students in leadership and entrepreneurship. It will be essential reading for leadership coaches, practitioners and business people, particularly those who facilitate leadership programs for women.

‘Anyone seeking to help women leaders develop their skills and capabilities to the fullest will benefit enormously from this book. By gathering the best current research on women’s leadership and organizing it as a Handbook, Susan Madsen has done women — and the world — a great service.’ 

— Sally Helgesen, Author, The Female Vision, The Female Advantage, The Web of Inclusion


‘Susan Madsen, the editor of this volume, is on the cutting edge of all recent scholarly work on gender and leadership. No surprise, then, that this edited collection of original essays in a must-read — no, a must own — for anyone with an enduring interest in the subjects of women and power, women and authority, and women and influence. The book as twenty-seven different chapters, which means it roams far and wide, though not at the expense of depth. These are highly accomplished essays by highly accomplished contributors, which is precisely why the book is indispensable. Indispensable especially now, when questions that we thought, perhaps foolishly, were almost settled, palpably are not. Why in the second decade of the twenty-first century are so many men still at the top? Why in the second decade of the twenty-first century are so few women in leadership roles? Why some forty years after the inception of the leadership industry to answers to questions about gender and power remain still so elusive?’

— Barbara Kellerman, Harvard Kennedy School, US