Cover of The Difference “Difference” Makes by Edited by Deborah L. Rhode
The Difference “Difference” Makes
Women and Leadership
Edited by Deborah L. Rhode


256 pages.
from $25.00

Hardcover ISBN: 9780804746342
Paperback ISBN: 9780804746359



Why are women so dramatically underrepresented in formal leadership positions—and what can be done to improve the situation? This unique collection takes up these questions in the crucial practical concepts of law, politics, and business—the arenas in which women’s leadership has the most public influence. Bridging the worlds of theory and practice, the essays in this collection bring new insights to long-standing questions about the difference gender difference makes, both in access to leadership and in its exercise.

The contributors to this collection represent some of the nation’s most distinguished women leaders and most respected scholars on women and leadership, and reflect a distinctive array of perspectives and backgrounds. Among others, they include former Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder; former NOW president Patricia Ireland; the Right Honorable Kim Campbell, former prime minister of Canada; and Judith Resnik, the Arthur Liman Professor of Law, Yale Law School. Written in accessible, lively prose, and informed by a wealth of scholarship and personal experience, this collection should appeal to a broad audience.

About the author

Deborah L. Rhode is the Ernest W. McFarland Professor of Law and Director of the Keck Center on Legal Ethics and the Legal Profession at Stanford Law School.

"This necessary and comprehensive survey of 'difference' will increase awareness of the importance of including women in all aspects of public life. Rhode's research illustrates the lingering inequities of the leadership opportunities available to women."

—Marie C. Wilson,

President, The White House Project

"The times cry out for democratic leadership. The Difference 'Difference' Makes is an invaluable exploration of the progress America, and its lawyers, have made in trusting women to be among our leaders."

—Catharine R. Stimpson, University Professor and Dean, Graduate School of Arts and Science, New York University

"This diverse compendium includes personal and professional accounts of how influential women leaders got to the top of their fields. Deborah Rhode, a significant thinker on gender issues today, provides a rich framework for understanding the obstacles women contend with and the ways in which they can influence major social institutions. This book dispels stereotypes, provides inspiration, and offers sound advice for women getting on the track to success."

—Cynthia Fuchs Epstein, Distinguished Professor, Sociology

City University of New York

"Extremely timely and useful, it contributes importantly to the problem of women and leadership in an original and stimulating way."

—Herma Hill Kay, University of California, Berkeley

"The folks who contributed to The Difference 'Difference' Makes are clearly heavy-hitters....collectively this set of papers is an instructive balance between practical advice and theoretical sophistication. Taken together, the contributions to this collection exemplify a central strength of feminist scholarship, speaking in a practical voice informed by theory."

——Law and Politics Book Review