© 2011

The Female Leadership Paradox

Power, Performance and Promotion


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Mirella Visser
    Pages 1-5
  3. Mirella Visser
    Pages 6-10
  4. Mirella Visser
    Pages 16-35
  5. Mirella Visser
    Pages 36-48
  6. Mirella Visser
    Pages 49-59
  7. Mirella Visser
    Pages 60-87
  8. Mirella Visser
    Pages 88-115
  9. Mirella Visser
    Pages 116-127
  10. Mirella Visser
    Pages 128-145
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 149-158

About this book


The best-kept secret in corporate life is the vanishing act of women on their way to the top. Despite massive attention to the issue the number of women in top positions remains shockingly low. This book shows what women themselves can do to optimize their careers and how this can bring benefits to the companies and organizations they work for.


leadership network organization organizations Personal Promotion women

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Inclusive LeadershipThe Netherlands

About the authors

Mirella Visser LLM is managing director of the Centre for Inclusive Leadership, which specializes in strategic leadership solutions, and a frequent speaker at international conferences. She is serving on the Advisory Board of the European Leadership Platform and as an Ambassador for the Greenleaf Centre for Servant Leadership Europe. She is also a member of the expert panel for non-executive directors at the Dutch Institute for Executive and Non-executive Directors and advisor at the European Commission for women in decision-making positions.

In her past career Mirella held various management positions at ING Group and was member of ING's management board in Hong Kong, with responsibilities for business units in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Hong Kong. At KPMG Mirella led post-merger integrations of international financial services companies. From 2006 – 2011 Mirella served on the Supervisory Board of Royal Swets & Zeitlinger, the world's leading subscription services company. In 2007 Mirella was nominated for the title 'European of the Year' for her non-profit activities for professional women in Europe.

Mirella is the co-author of the book Women on Boards, Moving Mountains and her Dutch book The Silk Road to the Top, on strategic leadership for women, made the shortlist (top 6) for 'Management Book of the Year 2010' in the Netherlands.

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Chemical Manufacturing
Finance, Business & Banking
Consumer Packaged Goods


'Mirella Visser is one of the most influential leadership thinkers at the moment. Her broad international experience fuses wisdom of the East and West, which is beautifully reflected in this book. Her insights will drive a paradigm shift on the conventional hydraulics of female leadership in organizations.' - Paul-Peter Feld, Director HR & Organization, Xerox Netherlands

'The Female Leadership Paradox presents common pitfalls as well as helpful guidance to its readers. It is based on extensive personal experience and years of research by the author. A book for both male and female executives, written in clear business language, which will prove invaluable as a factual, descriptive and non-judgmental companion on everyone's personal

journey.' - Pauline F.M. van der Meer Mohr, President Executive Board, Erasmus University Rotterdam

'Essential reading for executives and managers (both men and women) wanting to make a difference in the workplace, both to understand how to make a positive and recognised impact and how to create inspiring and effective workplaces.' - Annalisa Gigante, former Executive Committee Member, Adecco Group; President, European CMO Circle.

'An essential guidebook for visionary leaders - Mirella Visser is a brilliant thinker who can turn her great ideas into practical advices. She shows women how to use their talents and shows organizations how to recognize them and make it work for them.' - Isabella Lenarduzzi, Founder and Managing Director of JUMP - "Empowering Women, Advancing the Economy"

'Are you the architect of your own career? One can distinguish people in three groups, those who initiate and make things happen, those who watch things happening, and those who are wondering what actually has happened... I recommend this practical and energizing leadership book about 'do's and 'don't's to every business woman who wants to be the architect of her own career, hence initiates and makes things happen.' - Marguerite Soeteman-Reijnen, Chief Broking Officer, Europe and Middle East Africa, Aon Risk Solutions, 2010 'Woman to Watch' by Business Insurance, 2010 'Rising Star' by Reactions