Episode 20: Feminist Leadership Transitions


Episode 20: Feminist Leadership Transitions

In our last episode we talked about the challenges of dismantling patriarchy and promised that our next episode would start to unpack different strategies to topple patriarchy. We have chosen to focus first on how leadership transitions happen and what happens to the leaders who choose to leave. There is a generational shift in leadership of feminist organizations around the world and we can see that these shifts happen differently in different contexts. They  represent a way in which we both wrestle with and challenge patriarchy.

Older leaders, many founders of organizations, are stepping down in new ways. In this episode, we talk to three leaders who voluntarily stepped away to make way for new leadership and new voices in the organizations that they founded and dedicated themselves to for nearly two decades.

We’ll be  hearing from Mallika Dutt who created Breakthrough in 2000 and stepped down in 2017; from Lisa VeneKlasen who founded Just Associates or JASS in 2002 and stepped down at the beginning of 2020; and from Aruna Rao, who co-founded Gender at Work in 2003 and was its Executive Director for 14 years, stepping down in 2017. 

Some of the questions we explore are: Why did they step down? How did it feel once they stepped away? What did they gain? What did they miss? How can we prepare better for leadership transitions in feminist organizations in a way that continues to build community around a shared purpose for our work?

Do join us in this conversation and let us know what you think. Please email us at genderatworkpodcast@gmail.com

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