Picture a Leader. Is She a Woman?

Check out Nancy Pelosi. Even a glance will show you that she is the only woman at the table (and one of 2, it seems, in the room).

The New York Times wrote an article entitled Picture a Leader. Is She a Woman?

The author shares findings from an organizational behavior professor from the UK. She asked executives to draw a picture of a leader. Invariably, they drew pictures of men.

The researchers took the research further to investigate how “holding unconscious assumptions about gender affect[s] people’s abilities to recognize emerging leadership”.

“What they found, in a study posted by the Academy of Management Journal, seems to confirm what many women have long suspected: getting noticed as a leader in the workplace is more difficult for women than for men.”

This drew my attention because I have led a similar activity in a leadership training. Except, I do not ask participants to draw A leader, I ask them to draw a picture of a leader who has inspired and motivated them. While I cannot say with perfect accuracy how often participants drew a women or men, I can 100% tell you that the participants have drawn women far more often than men. I have done this training now with hundreds of participants from six countries. The results never vary. Men and women alike draw women more often than not.

Maybe this exercise will be more balanced as women and men see more examples of women in leadership roles.


2020 ushered in a lot of first for women.

For goodness sake, we saw the first all-women space walk in 2019!

We also saw the second woman ever to win the Nobel Prize in economics! In 2019.

If I were to dive deeper, I’d posit that, true, sure, maybe it is harder to be recognized as a leader as a woman. But once you ARE a leader, you are more likely to be seen as a GREAT one. An inspiring, motivating leader.

What do you think? Once women are leaders, are they more likely to inspire greatness?

As always, I am open to working together! Would you like some leadership training at your organization much like what I brought to the CDC Haiti?

A Leap of Faith!

Caitlyn Bradburn hikes on the High Desert Trail in Gallup, New Mexico, as she contemplates her leap of faith.
Gallup, New Mexico

Leap of faith

I am going to kick off this year with a leap of faith and begin a career as a consultant.

2018 is off to a bold start that has been in the cooker for some time now. It is a new start that I have planned for, contemplated, and researched. I come at this leap of faith with firm resolution, a clear vision, and excitement.

Much of my experience has been around workforce development for health and training of healthcare workers. I have a keen interest in global health, reproductive health, HIV prevention, treatment, and care, and community health worker interventions. My work has involved collaboration with healthcare workers in 15 different countries, and in many challenging settings. I have worked in contexts that vary from the 2014-2015 Emergency Ebola response to developing long-term leadership programs. I have experience conducting literature reviews and needs assessments related to training interventions and integrating monitoring and evaluation into my work.  My eye for exciting new practices and innovation is matched with training in public health, human centered design, and participatory research. And, finally, my training has given me a discernment when it comes to translating research into practice, behavior change, and knowledge acquisition.

I look forward to collaborating with others, contributing my instructional design skills, and engaging with different projects, organizations, and people.

What’s coming next?

I love designing curriculum and trainings, working with lots of different people and groups, and facilitating trainings. As such, it makes tremendous sense to me to focus on what I love the most, what I am best at, and work with organizations around the world to help them achieve their goals, build highly skilled and knowledgeable cadres of healthcare workers and community health workers.

Thanks for believing in me and coming along for the ride. Thanks for taking this leap of faith with me. Feel free to connect with me, read more about my experience and what I can do for you.  Let’s work together! Please contact me if you would like support in any stage of training development, design, or delivery.