Contact Anna Marie Valerio
Anna Marie Valerio
Anna Marie Valerio logo

  Developing Women Leaders:
  A Guide for Men and Women in Organizations





Executive Coaching
Anna Marie Valerio




Developing Women Leaders by Anna Marie Valerio

Advancing Executive Coaching Book

Book by Anna Marie Valerio: Executive Coaching: A Guide for the HR Professional

Anna Marie Valerio article on





Anna Marie Valerio
ISBN: 978-1-4051-8370-3
184 pages
October 2009, Wiley-Blackwell

Developing Women Leaders answers the question “How do we best develop women leaders?” with practical solutions drawn from current literature and the author’s personal interviews with high-achievers in major US companies and universities.
  • Presents research-based, practical solutions to help people in organizations develop talented women
  • Describes what organizations and individuals need to know about leadership competencies, personality, and leadership styles
  • Explains gender-related issues that affect the behaviors of both women and men at work
  • Integrates first-hand accounts by high-achieving women and men from major US companies and universities about their leadership experiences
  • Separate chapters addressed to CEOs and Human Resource executives, managers, and women offer practical suggestions to implement in their organizations, using examples from some 'best practice' companies
  • Has relevance across the range of all organizations including Fortune 500 companies, academic institutions, non-profit organizations and small businesses
  • Has significance for every aspect of society – business, government, law, families, careers, and health

"In any organization today, women leaders will help drive business growth and improved performance. Anna Marie Valerio's Developing Women Leaders is a practical guide that helps organizations not only to achieve this growth objective, but also to create the right opportunities for talented women to develop their careers and to advance within that company."
Nancy McKinstry , Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Executive Board, Wolters Kluwer

"Dr. Valerio's thoughtful and thought-provoking book is essential reading for anyone who cares about the development of the next generation of leaders, regardless of gender. As a female president and CEO in a historically male-dominated industry, I recognize the value and insights offered in the book, and applaud the proactive approaches to gender issues in the workplace."
Nancy Hill , President-CEO, American Association of Advertising Agencies

" Developing Women Leaders is a trove of useful advice for the advancement of women. Many talented women whose careers have stalled at mid-management can apply the book's strategies to move into top-level careers. Women and men benefit when we have the most talented people leading organizations. Valerio offers something for everyone. There are great "tips" for women who want to advance their careers, administrators who control access to the top, and for human resource departments that can help to increase the number of women in leadership positions."
Diane F. Halpern , Claremont McKenna College


Developing Women Leaders by Anna Marie Valerio

Book Review By CEO Forum Group

The goal of increasing the proportion of women in leadership positions is one many organizations have adopted as a matter of principle. Just how this should be done, however, has proved a little more elusive. Fortunately, this recent book by US author and consultant Dr. Anna Marie Valerio has much to offer.

A strength of the book is its organisation. The early chapters of the book but the task of developing women leaders in its broader social and historical context. In particular, Valerio highlights how, since the 1970s in particular, women have come to assume an increasingly greater share of the graduate market (in the US, for instance, women earn a majority of college and masters degrees, a situation not dissimilar to Australia). This leads to a simple but compelling argument: if women make up a large proportion of the talent available for leadership, it seems only common sense to make sure the leadership of the organisation reflects this over time.

Another key part of the ‘scene setting’ performed by the author, is defining the nature of leadership. The author reviews some of the most recent research literature on leadership, and concludes that the qualities that make up effective leadership: “intelligence, sociability, assertiveness, conscientiousness, integrity, and the ability to inspire” are ones both sexes can demonstrate. In this sense, the leadership challenge faced by both men and women is similar: “understand their strengths and ‘challenge areas’ to achieve greater self-awareness and self-management – hallmarks of good leaders everywhere.”

Having established the relevant context, the rest of the chapters are practical suggestions for three groups: CEOs and HR executives, line managers, and women aspiring to leadership positions. Many of the suggestions for CEOs will be familiar, such as: communicate a commitment to diversity, dedicate budget and resources, measure diversity performance, set up mentoring network, and provide stretch assignments for developing woman candidates. The reader does benefit, however, by having these and other suggestions integrated into a cohesive policy framework, and the discussion of policy is enlivened by snippets from leading companies recent experience.

What changes can we expect to see in the short-term? Valerio notes that progress is a combination of factors operating at three broad levels: individual factors (e.g. women’s educational attainment, career aspirations); organisational factors (e.g. vision and culture, HR policies) and societal factors (e.g. public policy, role of professional and public interest organisations). “The future of women’s leadership cannot just rest on the ambitions of a segment of the female population or on the desire of organisations to create wealth and do the right thing.” In a brisk, concise (around 160 pages) Valerio has given a good overview of what needs to be done to advance the issue.


To order a copy of the book, visit Amazon.


Anna Marie Valerio, Ph.D.
Executive Leadership Strategies, LLC
Metro New York Area