A Review of Race, Gender, and Leadership: Women in Leadership by Patricia S. Parker

Janice Kelly Ed.D., Molloy College


The preface to Race, Gender, and Leadership boldly declares that “this book takes up the charge put forth by cutting edge leadership scholars to envision new forms of leadership for the 21st century” (p. ix). A key point of the book is that in criticizing traditional “masculine” forms of leadership and arguing instead for an alleged “female advantage” or “feminine leadership” style, feminist scholars have done little more than perpetuate notions of dualism. Furthermore, the model of feminine leadership portrayed in the popular media is based on the experiences of a “select few” predominately white middle-class women. As a result, “The female advantage perspective excludes the experiences of African-American women as well as other women of color and of different class statuses” (p. xv). Most important, it ignores the multicultural perspective that is essential to understanding and advancing leadership development in an age of globalization.