Lancaster University Management School Professor highlights women leadership issues to UK Government

Professor Valerie Stead

A Lancaster University Management School Professor has advised a government taskforce on how best to address the dearth of women in leadership roles.

Professor Valerie Stead, Director of the Academy for Gender, Work and Leadership in LUMS, produced a thinkpiece, Leadership Development and Women’s Advancement into Leadership Roles, for the National Leadership Centre (NLC).

Professor Stead is one of 17 leading UK academics commissioned by the NLC to explore key areas of research, and to stimulate ideas about the future of public sector leadership and the role the NLC can play. The thinkpieces are intended as evidence-based provocations to drive transformational change in the way leaders collaborate, and influence how public services are led and delivered.

The evidence provided by the academics, along with other internally commissioned research, has already helped NLC to refine their key areas of research interest for 2020/21.

The National Leadership Centre was launched by the Chancellor in 2018, following the recommendations of the Public Services Leadership Taskforce. It helps the country’s most senior public service leaders develop the skills, knowledge and networks to address society’s most complex strategic challenges.

Professor Stead said: “There are a number of reasons why women are under-represented in leadership roles, but there are also a wealth of potential solutions which need to be highlighted to government, business and public services.

“The research we have produced through the Academy for Gender, Work and Leadership, and particularly as part of the Gender Matters project, which highlights the gender challenges facing UK businesses, provides insights that can inform how we engage with and develop senior leaders to help tackle this under-representation.

“Rethinking leadership development approaches to adopt an organisational context focus can unearth systemic barriers and inherent biases that maintain inequalities and encourage more workable solutions.”

You can read the full research article Leadership Development and Women’s Advancement into Leadership Roles, by Professor Stead, here:

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