Young women’s leadership

Twenty-one “feisty” young women graduated from the Leadership Scholars program at Rutgers University between 2000 and 2008. They learned that they could be taught how to be leaders and identified women’s leadership as “collaborative, community-based, intergenerational, and fueled by passion and humility.”[i] “I learned the value of collaborative leadership and its strength to facilitate positive change,” wrote chapter author Courtney Turner. In contrast they defined traditional masculine leadership as aiming for personal power and the cult of the individual leader. They embraced the feminine tradition of nurturing disadvantaged people including children and the poor, influenced by role-models of their female relatives and by intersectional university women’s studies to do “local problem solving” in teams. Ten of the young women are immigrants or have immigrant parents. They also sought allies in young male peers, disavowing stereotypes of their generation as apathetic and aiming to transcend identity politics.

[i][i] Mary Trigg, editor. Leading the Way: Young Women’ Activism for Social Change. Rutgers University Press, 2010, pp. 1-16.


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