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The walls within: working with defenses against otherness

Online Conference 5-11 July 2021

The leadership challenge: Reconciling the place of the feminine as the road to sustainability

Im delighted to be here in Toledo and am honoured to be able to present my paper 'The leadership challenge: reconciling the place of the feminine as the road to sustainability.' Ill be presenting the findings of a research study I undertook, 'The Leadership Challenge: Women in Management of the experience of leadership of men and women in Australias corporate, government and higher education sectors.' The studys particular focus was on the barriers to the representation of women at senior executive levels - a copy of which I have available for your perusal. Eighteen organisations participated in the study and I conducted 115 interviews with men and women in those organisations. I look forward to sharing my research findings and engaging with you in the subsequent discussion. My approach today is to begin by outlining the business context in which my research was undertaken. I draw on my findings and more general research evidence to reflect on the relationship between the exclusion of the feminine, and primitive and destructive organisation cultures. And I draw on psychoanalytic concepts to unpack observations I make and to provide a framework for thinking about sustainability in organisations and society.