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Handbook of Leadership Theory and Practice by Rakesh Khurana, Nitin Nohria

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14

WOMEN AND LEADERSHIP

Defining the Challenges

Robin J. Ely and Deborah L. Rhode

IN 1999, WHEN Carly Fiorina assumed leadership of Hewlett-Packard (HP), she announced: “I hope that we are at the point that everyone has figured out that there is not a glass ceiling” (Markoff, 1999). Seven years later, in a memoir chronicling her highly public ouster from HP, Fiorina recounted endless examples of the sexism she had earlier denied, including routine descriptions of her as a “bimbo” or a “bitch” (Fiorina, 2006). That about-face well captures America’s contemporary ambivalence about women and leadership. The increasing prominence of leaders like Carly Fiorina, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, and Condoleeza Rice underscores the changes in gender ...

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