Women in Leadership

Understanding and working with the unique challenges facing women in leadership roles.

Depersonalization and objectification are realities that many women face in the workplace. Even in the most supportive environments women leaders and managers may face stereotypes and biases that inhibit their ability to excel.

Psychological growth and emotional development are key to managing the pressures and responsibilities of leadership, and must often occur rapidly if one’s professional credibility is to prevail. By using coaching or psychotherapy as a sounding board, women in leadership positions may benefit from new insights and perspectives, and help to facilitate their growth and development during a critical period of life.

The number of women in today’s workforce is beginning to exceed that of men, yet women in leadership positions still face uniquely challenging obstacles. Social and demographic change can be rapid, but attitudes and psychology do not necessarily follow so swiftly.

Woman with a book on her lapWith more power and responsibility comes unexpected psychological conflicts and the awakening of dormant emotional patterns. Just as being a parent for the first time can evoke both new and deeply old psychodynamics, so can the challenges of being boss, of managing conflict, and of leading effectively.

Dr. Wu’s approach in helping women in leadership roles to meet the unique challenges facing them is to provide an environment in which they can explore and identify the external attitudes and internal emotional patterns that may hamper their leadership responsibilities and their professional development.

Suggested Reading for Women & Leadership

Brescoll, V. L., & Uhlmann, E. L. (2008). Can an angry woman get ahead? Status conferral, gender, and expression of emotion in the workplace.: Psychological Science, 19(3), 268-275.

Fels, A. (2004). Do women lack ambition?: Harvard Business Review.

Fletcher, J. K. (2001). Disappearing acts: Gender, power, and relational practice at work.: The MIT Press.

Fletcher, J. K., Jordan, J. V., & Miller, J. B. (2000). Women and the workplace: Applications of a psychodynamic theory.: The American journal of psychoanalysis, 60(3), 243-261.

Hewlett, S. (2002). Executive women and the myth of having it all.: Harvard Business Review.

Hochschild, A., & Machung, A. (1983). The second shift: Working parents and the revolution at home.: Family in Transition, editied by Arlene and Jerome Skolnick (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1989).

Jamieson, K. H. (1995). Beyond the double bind: Women and leadership.: Oxford University Press, USA.

Suggested Reading for Women & Negotiation

Kolb, D. M., & Coolidge, G. G. (2001). Her place at the table: A consideration of gender issues in negotiation.: The Negotiation Sourcebook, 259.

Keashly, L. (1994). Gender and conflict: What does psychological research tell us.: Conflict and gender, 167-190.

Tannen, D. (1994). Talking from 9 to 5: Women and men in the workplace: Language sex and power.: Harper Paperbacks.

Tannen, D. (2001). You just don’t understand: Women and men in conversation.: Harper Paperbacks.