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Vol. 40 No. 1 (2021): Advancing Women in Leadership

Exploration of Women's Leadership Development Challenges and Transformational Learning: A Positional Paper

July 24, 2020


My review of the positions that involving decision-making roles shows that women still hold less than 26% of the decision-making roles within Fortune Magazine’s list of Top 500 companies, higher education, and politics. Fortune 500 boards of directors and entrepreneurs show increasing rates of women in decision-making roles. Surveys related to the division of labor in households show that women are still responsible for the majority of the work needed to keep the household running. These factors, along with challenges such as a lack of positive social feedback for aspiring women leaders, gender stereotypes, educational methods, and a lack of prominent role models, can affect women’s development as leaders and the number of women in leadership roles. This paper explores social feedback, gender stereotypes, conditional teaching, and lack of role models as affecting women’s potential and development as leaders. This review also explores applying lessons from the transformational learning literature to women’s leadership development process.

Keywords: transformational learning, leadership development, identity development, women's leadership development, gender stereotypes, social constructs