There is a struggle these days to find reliable and competent leadership. In many ways, the human services industry exemplifies the challenge. Despite an abundance of books, speeches, and guides that focus on the creation of good leaders, their absence persists.
This persistence, however, is not a result of our inability to pull good leadership from thin air. Rather, it's about our inability to simply look at the colleagues around us. Good management is cultivated, not found. This isn't a radical claim and is a concept I'm sure many are familiar with. But few, it seems, have managed to successfully cultivate new leaders. A complex reason why this challenge exists within the human services industry: gender disparity, especially for women of color. Human services is an industry that should, above all things, champion equity and equality for its clients/consumers — no question. Yet, if those same principles are not reflected in management, a company may find itself ill-equipped to champion anything.