Publications Journal Newsletter Book Series

Division 45 Presidential Initiative on Diversity and Leadership:
Jean Lau Chin, President 2010–2011

I launched my presidential initiative on Diversity and Leadership. The questions of interest are: Does race, ethnicity, and gender influence the exercise of leadership? How do diverse individuals lead? There is a dearth in the leadership literature on how diversity interacts with leadership—Does it influence one’s leadership style, one’s effectiveness as a leader, or access to leadership positions? The GLOBE study (House, Hanges, Javidan, Dorfman, & Gupta, 2004), a comprehensive study identifying leadership styles with different cultural patterns, found that different patterns characterized the exercise of leadership across 62 cultures/countries. Not surprising, organizational cultures were found to reflect societal cultures. A special issue on Diversity and Leadership edited by myself in the April 2010 issue of the American Psychologist identifies gaps in the existing leadership literature, and raises current issues toward advancing our understanding in this area.

Given the demographic changes in society, and our continued commitment to multiculturalism and diversity, I believe it is important to understand the leadership styles, experiences and identities of diverse leaders toward the goal of promoting access to, and supporting the exercise of leadership among diverse leaders. The first part of my initiative is to gather some data about how diverse leaders lead. I invite all to participate by filling out the survey. Sign in to participate in the leadership survey at: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NK9QNQC.Disseminate the link to diverse leaders.

This data will not only help us to advance our understanding of how diversity and leadership interact, but also will enable us to support diverse members from our communities into ranks of leadership. Next, we can use the data to enhance Division 45 initiatives including our mentoring through Links and Shoulders and training through the Leadership Institute to promote the next generation of leaders and support our current leaders. Other activities will follow including drawing on the wisdom of our past presidents and leaders, celebrate at the upcoming 2011 National Multicultural Summit .I hope all division 35 members will join in this initiative.

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