While leadership is an over-used term today, how it is defined for women and the contexts in which it emerges remains elusive. Moreover, women are exhorted to exercise leadership, but occupying leadership positions has its challenges. Issues of access, acceptable behaviour and the development of skills to be successful leaders are just some of them.
Diversity in Leadership: Australian women, past and present provides a new understanding of the historical and contemporary aspects of Indigenous and non-Indigenous women’s leadership in a range of local, national and international contexts. It brings interdisciplinary expertise to the topic from leading scholars in a range of fields and diverse backgrounds. The aims of the essays in the collection document the extent and diverse nature of women’s social and political leadership across various pursuits and endeavours within democratic political structures.
Carol Johnson from University of Adelaide reviews Diversity in Leadership: Australian Women, Past and Present in The Australian Historical Studies Journal. She writes,
‘This is a very impressive collection that throws new light on both Australian leadership and the nature of ‘leadership’ itself. The feminist insights driving the project have resulted in the uncovering of much-neglected histories of women’s leadership.’ And concludes by saying,
‘Overall, this is an important collection that fills a major gap in existing historical scholarship and also makes significant contributions to our understanding of the vexed concept of leadership.’
(Review by Carol Johnson (2016) Diversity in Leadership: Australian Women, Past and Present, The Australian Historical Studies Journal, 47:2, 337—338).