Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Department 1

Political Science


Leadership is a term that women strive to claim as their own. Whether in the halls of Congress, the corporate boardroom, or the privacy of the home, women’s leadership challenges traditional notions of the concept. Throughout the ages images of leadership feature men in uniform and men in positions of power, whether it be military, government, or market. The traditional view of leaders is imbued with male images of “heroes,” who issue orders, lead the troops—save the day. But leadership has another face. It is the face of Abigail Adams admonishing her husband to “Remember the Ladies” in the formation of this new American nation (McGlen, O’Connor, van Assendelft, & Gunther-Canada, 2002, p. 1). It is the face of Susan B. Anthony in 1872 standing trial for illegally voting. It is the face of scores of women in today’s world who have shattered glass ceilings in corporate America and hold important legislative and administrative posts in state and federal government. Yet there is more to the concept of “women’s leadership” than substituting one face for another. [excerpt]