The purpose of this paper is to propose mindfulness (e.g. practices such as yoga, meditation) as a fruitful addition to women leader/ship development research and practice, specifically as a means through which to prevent and mitigate negative health outcomes.
This is a literature review-based paper that integrates scholarly research on gender and women’s leadership, well-being (including stress reduction), women leader/ship development and mindfulness.
Women continue to be under-represented in senior leadership roles and many confront a “labyrinth” of “gender-organization-system” challenges throughout their careers. These challenges can have material effects on the well-being of women leaders. Research reveals positive psychological and biological effects of mindfulness practices on well-being (including stress). Some of this research reveals that women are more likely to engage in mindfulness practices and experience greater benefits. Leader/ship development programs designed specifically for women are needed, and it is proposed that incorporating mindfulness into these programs may result in beneficial outcomes for women leaders.
This research contributes to the limited body of work on women leader/ship development, mindfulness and leadership.
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