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Am Psychol. 2010 Apr;65(3):171-81. doi: 10.1037/a0017459.

Women and women of color in leadership: complexity, identity, and intersectionality.

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Department of Psychology, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA 23529-0267, USA.


This article describes the challenges that women and women of color face in their quest to achieve and perform in leadership roles in work settings. We discuss the barriers that women encounter and specifically address the dimensions of gender and race and their impact on leadership. We identify the factors associated with gender evaluations of leaders and the stereotypes and other challenges faced by White women and women of color. We use ideas concerning identity and the intersection of multiple identities to understand the way in which gender mediates and shapes the experience of women in the workplace. We conclude with suggestions for research and theory development that may more fully capture the complex experience of women who serve as leaders.

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