Leonie V. Still

Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Place of Publication

Perth, Western Australia


Still, L. (1996). Women and leadership working paper series: Paper no. 4: Women as leaders. Perth, Australia: Edith Cowan University.


Leadership is a term that is not normally associated with women. This is despite the fact that throughout history women have often played a prominent role. Those that have gained prominence have done so in four main ways (Apfelbaum and Hadley, 1986):

• through charismatic leadership: the unique example being Joan of Arc.

• through inherited leadership positions: examples include the women who become heads of family businesses or queens by succeeding to monarchs.

• through the achievement of professional eminence: women who become leading figures in their disciplines because of their professional and / or scientific achievements - examples include Madame Curie, Margaret Mead.

• women who become selected leaders ie. are elected, appointed or nominated to important public offices such as prime minister, senator. Australian examples include two women premiers (Carmen Lawrence and Joan Kirner) and three women leaders of the minor political party, the Australian Democrats...