By Ellen Van Velsor & Martha W. Hughes-James
Center for Creative Leadership
In the decades since women first entered the ranks of management in significant numbers, most companies have succeeded in creating large pools of high-potential women. They are much less successful, however, in promoting women to top-level positions, and have trouble retaining those who do make it. While a small percentage of women seem to thrive, many come away frustrated by their own attempts to succeed. Although a great deal of research and energy has been devoted to understanding how and what people learn from experience, gender differences associated with experiential learning are still poorly understood. In order to investigate this question, two Center for Creative Leadership studies of executive development – one which deals almost exclusively with men, and one which looks only at women — were compared. This is a report of what we discovered.
Van Velsor, E., & Hughes, M. W. (1990). Gender differences in the development of managers: How women managers learn from experience (Technical Report No.145). Greensboro, NC: Center for Creative Leadership. https://doi.org/10.35613/ccl.1990.1096