Analyses the content and methodology of personal development programmes as used within women‐only training. Although women‐only training programmes have increased over the last ten to 15 years, both in the UK and in the European Community, they have developed in an ad hoc pragmatic way. Underlying assumptions have not been examined and theory has not accompanied practice. In exploring the curriculum and methodology of assertiveness and career planning training programmes, finds them limited in their capacity to make transformative change for women. Argues that they have the effect of helping women, on an individualized basis, to adapt to organizations and cultures which are not of their making. Posits that it is only by re‐examining women’s learning and making explicit the challenge to women’s subordination across their diversity, that trainers and participants can take the first steps towards transformative change.
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