In considering critical areas of human resource development, and upon reviewing the literature on women in management, it became obvious that there was a need for a Management Development program that is targeted specifically to women at senior levels of management. The record of course providers in attracting women to participate in existing mixed Executive Development Programs has not been very good, poorer indeed than the proportion of senior women in organizations, which by itself is not at an acceptable level. The research suggests that women generally are less likely to actively seek positions of high profile leadership due to historical social stereotypes of women and the lack of obvious women executive models (Arkkelin, & Simons, 1985; Baril, Elbert, Maher‐Potter, & Reavy, 1989). They are unable and unwilling to absent themselves from families and careers to the same extent as males in our society. Indeed, in the case of women with children, there are very strong norms against women leaving family and children to persue their own professional development (Riger, & Galligan, 1980). Quite the opposite norm exists for males with children who are obviously rewarded in our society for pursuing training and development opportunities which can enhance their career development (Powell, 1988). Thus, the residential and extended time components of current Executive Development Programs are often inconvenient and unsuitable for the majority of women who aspire to or have achieved senior level positions.
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