The Leadership Shadow 2023

Executive Summary

23 May 2023

The Leadership Shadow was first published in 2014 by Champions of Change Coalition in collaboration with Chief Executive Women, to help leaders understand the impact of their personal actions on gender balance. Since then, The Leadership Shadow has been widely adopted by Champions of Change Members and their leadership teams as an integral part of the Champions of Change Coalition’s commitment to listen, learn and lead with action.

Over the past 10 years our Member’s feedback from their experience using The Leadership Shadow approach has further informed the practice. Their insights are incorporated in this edition of The Leadership Shadow which also broadens its purpose from concentrating on gender balance in leadership to addressing gender equality and inclusion.

If we want our leadership to make a difference, we must understand our own impact — the shadow we cast. The challenge is that it is hard to see our own shadow — its shape, clarity and reach. The path to lasting performance improvement on any priority — like inclusive gender equality — starts at the top. What we say; how we act; what we prioritise; and how we measure together determine what gets done and what doesn’t. These four elements make up the Leadership Shadow model, which allows you as a leader to consider whether the imprint of your words and actions is as clear and powerful as you want it to be.

The Leadership Shadow gives you a structure to sharpen your approach and demonstrate how you are making diversity a priority. Making progress on gender balance is not yet second nature for many of us. The Leadership Shadow focuses the mind on how to take a leadership position that will drive progress on what is an important social, economic and productivity priority for Australia.

– Simon Rothery, CEO Goldman Sachs Australia & New Zealand

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