Feminist futures in gender-in-leadership research: self-reflexive approximations to intersectional situatedness

Jenny K. Rodriguez, Elisabeth Anna Günther, Rafia Faiz

Publications: Contribution to journalArticlePeer Reviewed


Purpose This paper introduces intersectional situatedness to develop inclusive analyses of leadership. Intersectional situatedness recognises the contextual and situated nature of experiences and their interaction with socially constructed categories of difference. Design/methodology/approach The paper draws on memory work by three feminist academics who situate their understandings and experiences of leadership as part of socio-historical contexts. Findings Understandings and experiences of leadership are multifaceted and benefit from being examined in their intersectional situatedness. This way, the simultaneity of visible and invisible disadvantage and privilege, which accumulate, shift and get reconfigured across the life course and are based on particular intersectional identity invocations, can be integrated into narratives about leadership. Research limitations/implications Interrogating gender-in-leadership adopting an intersectional situatedness helps to advance the field by embedding the recognition, problematisation and theorisation of situated difference as critical to understand leadership, its meaning and its practice in management and organisations. Practical implications In embedding intersectional situatedness in the analysis of leadership, more inclusive understandings of leadership are qualified that recognise differences positively and support changing the narratives around the meaning of "leader" and "good leadership". Social implications Intersectional situatedness helps to identify tangible ways to see how inequalities impact women's career progression to leadership and enable more nuanced conversations about privilege and disadvantage to advance feminist social justice agendas. Originality/value The paper reveals the narrow and restricted understandings of leadership and how this influences who is regarded as a legitimate leader. In addition, it adopts a methodology that is not commonly used in gender-in-leadership research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-247
Number of pages18
JournalGender in Management
Issue number2
Early online date22 Sep 2022
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2023

Austrian Fields of Science 2012

  • 504014 Gender studies
  • 502052 Business administration
  • 502044 Business management
  • 509010 Minority research


  • Intersectionality
  • Coloniality of leadership
  • Gender-in-leadership
  • Intersectional situatedness
  • WORK
  • RACE
  • BIAS

Cite this