We are the Leaders We've Been Waiting For Women and Leadership Development in College
At this time of social flux, of changing demographics on campus and the world beyond, of recognition of intersectional identities, as well as the wide variety of aspirations and career goals of today's women undergraduates, how can colleges and universities best prepare them for the demands of modern leadership? This text speaks to the changing context of today’s women students' experiences, recognizing that their work life goals may go beyond climbing the corporate ladder to include social innovation and entrepreneurial goals, policy and politics, and social activism.This book is a product of multiple collaborations and intellectual contributions of a diverse group of undergraduate and graduate women who helped shape the course on which it is based. They provided research support, critical readings, as well as the diverse narratives that are included throughout the book, not as an ideal for readers to aspire to but as an authentic expression of how their distinct and sometimes non-conforming lived experiences shaped their understandings of leadership. It goes beyond hero/she-ro person-centered approaches to get at the complex and intrapersonal nature of leadership. It also situates intersectional identities, critical consciousness, and student development theory as important lenses throughout the text.Recognizing that there are many possible manifestations of leadership or gender, this text encourages students to embrace the contradictions rather than engaging in dualistic, black-and-white thinking, challenging them to address such questions as, Should women “lean in” and work harder to achieve their own leadership goals, or should they focus on bigger systemic issues to create equity in the workplace?Each chapter concludes with a brief chapter review, a narrative from a current college student, and critical reflection questions.
Foreword—Heather D. Shea and Kristen A. Renn Acknowledgments 1. We are the Leaders We’ve Been Waiting For 2. A Critical Moment for Women and Leadership 3. Who am I to Lead? The Role of Identity, Intersectionality, and Efficacy in Leadership Development 4. How Did We Get Here? How Gender Socialization Shapes Women in Leadership 5. Feminine or Feminist Approaches? Leading Across Campus and Communities 6. What Difference Does Difference Make? The Effects of Stereotypes, Prejudice, and Discrimination on Gender Representation and Leadership 7. Navigating Organizations and Systems. Metaphors for Women in Leadership 8. Beware of Precarious Pedestals. Degendering Leadership 9. Reimagining Women and Leadership. Strategies, Allies, and Critical Hope Glossary References About the Author Index
From the Foreword:
"We Are The Leaders We’ve Been Waiting For is the student leadership textbook WE have been waiting for!
Julie’s student-facing book is particularly accessible to college students because she features students’ voices throughout the text.
The book situates intersectional identities, critical consciousness, and student development theory lenses. Centering the experiences and concerns of women from a range of backgrounds and identities makes space for intersectional considerations, creates counter-spaces within leadership literature, and provides possibility models for a world where leaders come in all genders, races, ethnicities, and other identities.
It complicates the gendered notions of 'women’s leadership' by separating these two words… in what ways is the possessive 'women’s' limiting the readers broader understanding of leadership? Is there such a thing as a universal 'woman' whose leadership should be emulated? This text also delves more deeply into the concept of 'feminine' versus 'feminist' leadership, which is sorely needed.
We believe this book will be useful for students interested in women’s experiences in leadership and the educators who work with them. It will be useful to leadership educators in all settings, and particularly those educators who seek to center women’s experiences. Student affairs administrators across functional areas may find it useful in their work with students and for their own professional development and exploration. Faculty teaching leadership courses will resonate with the content, as will advisors of student organizations. Activists on and off campus will find inspiration, challenge, and resonance."
Heather D. Shea and Kristen A. Renn
Michigan State University
“We are the Leaders We've Been Waiting For is the book that many of us who are gender and leadership scholars have been waiting for to use with our women-identified students for years! Julie Owen has put together a brilliant volume that highlights the ways socially constructed ideas of leadership and gender influence girls and women's practice of leadership. In particular, the narratives and counternarratives from students in Dr. Owen's courses shed powerful light on their experiences and illuminate real-life examples of the concepts discussed in this book.”
Daniel Tillapaugh, Associate Professor and Chair, Counselor Education
California Lutheran University
“Julie Owen’s book We are the Leaders We’ve Been Waiting For is masterful. Far more than a book about women’s leadership. Owen weaves a complex yet accessible narrative that is rooted in feminist and intersectional theory and exposes so much more than just barriers to women’s leadership, but also a range of areas of gender inequality from the pay gap to sexual violence. In each chapter, Owen features the narrative of one of her students or colleagues, a strategy that makes accessing complex ideas feel like a conversation the reader is having with a trusted friend. The active learning exercises make this book a must have not only for courses on feminist leadership, but also an ideal tool for anyone exploring their own leadership. I finished the book more confident that I can be and maybe am a leader I’ve always waited for!”
Angela Hattery, Professor and Director, Women and Gender Studies
George Mason University
"This book covers complex topics spanning the personal and professional lives of women and the connection to leadership using a thorough explanation of relevant theories and narratives. Context matters, and Julie Owen covers concisely the social and historical developments that have defined our identities, how we think, how we feel, and how we shape our lives and actions. This book is truly a must-read and, as the author suggests, it is a 'a critical moment for women and leadership.'”
Sadhana Warty Hall, Deputy Director
The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College
"We Are the Leaders We’ve Been Waiting For is a compelling and necessary contribution to the scholarship on leadership and gender. Julie Owen integrates foundational and contemporary concepts and frameworks with powerful narrative in thoughtful and critical ways to advance our understanding of women’s leadership. The book will undoubtedly transform students, educators, and our world. I can confidently say this is the book I’ve been waiting for."
Paige Haber-Curran, Associate Professor
Texas State University