What is it about?

This paper explores the different challenges and opportunities specific groups of people experience in their journey to becoming leaders. The study uses intersectionality to critically examine how lived experiences are embedded in organisational and societal structures of disadvantage and privilege.

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Why is it important?

Leadership development is a multi-billion dollar industry worldwide, yet many people who undergo formalised leadership development are not able to step into leadership roles successfully. Similarly, white men remain overrepresented in the most senior organisational leadership roles. This study makes a contribution to the understanding of these global phenomena.


This study uses South Africa as an acute site of both privilege and disadvantage to understand why people in the same leadership development programme, experience the interventions so differently. The findings make a significant contribution to understanding that leadership development interventions do not occur in isolation, but are significantly influenced and shaped by the contexts in which they occur.

Clif P Lewis
Queen Mary University of London

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Leadership development, gender and race: Intersectional insights from South Africa, International Journal of Training and Development, October 2022, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/ijtd.12285.
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