Leadership evolution - Female leadership in the spotlight.

IOBC Senior Coaches Friederike Höher, Cornelia Seewald, Katrin Sasse formerly Kiggen, Jasmin Messerschmidt, Gudrun Happich, Birgitta Fildhaut and Britta Reinhardt have jointly written this book to share their rich life experiences and insights relating to the diverse questions that this topic raises. 


They shed light on structural and societal barriers to equal development and how they can be overcome. This book enables a profound understanding of female leadership.

From the content:

Friederike Höher – A Brief History of Gender and Diversity management

This article provides the conceptual and socio-political background for this book: Men still strongly outnumber women almost everywhere in management positions. Research results provide the reader with an in-depth understanding of the causes and remedies for the phenomenon of why so many women still fall behind on the way to developing a career.

This article evaluates the opportunities and the limitations of gender equality and diversity policies and presents an idea of how diversity management can be implemented in agile companies.

More about Friederike Höher

Cornelia Seewald - Successful women and their individual career paths

Cornelia Seewald portrays the success patterns of eight women in top management positions from an attribution theory perspective. A careful evaluation of their biographies, using structured interviews, show a rich variety in the underlying behavioural patterns and assumptions, that led to their individual success stories. These vivid examples are encouraging for women who are taking first steps towards building their unique career.

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Katrin Sasse - The Power of the Unconscious. 
How women can strengthen their leadership qualities through self-reflection. 

Roland Kopp-Wichmann wrote about the article written by our colleague Katrin Sasse:

"From my perspective as a coach working in the field of depth psychology, Katrin Kiggen's contribution is very valuable. She demonstrates that only few women (and men) in leadership positions truly know themselves and how this has a significant and partly negative impact on their leadership work."

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Jasmin Messerschmidt – Speak up! Women leaders in typically male dominated professions 

How can women leaders be successful, happy, and develop a coherent professional identity in traditionally male dominated professions? Participants of Jasmin Messerschmidt’s leadership seminars and coaching sessions describe their success stories in interviews and reveal pragmatic ways of asserting themselves confidently in areas which are traditionally the preserve of men. A central decision taken by these women can be summarized as follows: Will I play safe and keep under the radar? Or will I decide to speak up?!

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Gudrun Happich - Coaching Experiences I cannot get ahead because I am a woman: Preconception or Reality?. 

How do "high achievers" in top management positions pave their way? Numerous examples from the author’s coaching experience shed light on their motivation, the hurdles that had to be overcome, and successful leadership. She explores an interesting hypothesis: Is there possibly no difference at all in the leadership behavior of high achieving men and women? 

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Birgitta Fildhaut – Learnings from women who successfully dealt with ambivalent leadership decisions

Do I want to become a leader? How can I deal with the implications of my decision? How will my children cope with my absence? Birgitta Fildhaut evaluates the ambivalences of ten women confronted with these and many other leadership decisions. Both the biographical and societal influences on the decision-making processes are carefully analyzed in each example, center of which are three key aspects: caring for self and others, self-worthiness, and power & competition.

These examples and the psychological and societal background knowledge provided in this chapter enable a better understanding of the conscious and unconscious influences on decision-making processes.

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Britta Reinhardt - Life design: Female Family-Owned Business Successor

Britta Reinhardt traces the life journeys of three women who have taken on leadership as successors in a family business. She describes both the special attractions and the implications of this role. She also names the factors that impede women become a successor. By this she hopes to contribute that women at the top of medium-sized family businesses in future are the rule rather than the exception.

More about Britta Reinhardt