Post Fellowship Research

Moving Mountains: Questioning and visioning intersectional feminist leadership in cultural organisations

A photograph of a handwritten page from Adele’s Clore Fellowship notebook with highlighted text that reads, ‘ Tell me about one instance or innovation where you resisted convention and implemented change using feminist approaches?’
An excerpt from Adele’s sixth notebook on the Clore Leadership Fellowship which asks a significant question in the research

Adele was successful in securing funding for Post Fellowship Research from Clore and AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council). This research was supervised by Helena Reckitt, Goldsmith’s University and was supported by contributions by GWL staff Board and volunteers and an array of (international feminist) leaders.

Adele wanted to research: the ways that feminist work is sublimated and erased in the developing ‘industry’ of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion training in and for cultural and heritage organisations, the history of (contested theories around) leadership of feminist organisations in global contexts and how her own lived experiences of feminist collaborative and leadership activities at GWL and elsewhere were impacted on by Clore learning. Over 40 years Adele has been active at GWL and in a range of work settings, women’s and feminist groups and campaigning organisations (from women’s self-build housing projects to teaching gender and culture in academic settings). These memories and episodes of learning and leading were drawn upon and incorporated using feminist autoethnographic methodology.

Feminist leaders assembling for gathering, Feminist Governance: A Nairobi perspective. Seven women, mostly women of colour, sit and stand talking together on a balcony with trees beyond.
Feminist leaders assembling for gathering, Feminist Governance: A Nairobi perspective, Ikigai, Nairobi, October 2019
A photograph of a handwritten page from Adele’s Clore Fellowship notebook with a highlighted diagram of two interlinked circles that read, ‘Question 1: How can you live your values in an institution?’ And ‘ Question 2: How do you hold the spaces to account?’
An excerpt from Adele’s eighth notebook on the Clore Leadership Fellowship which highlights a significant thought in the research

The Research report incorporates insights shared in interviews with international (feminist) leaders, extracts from Adele’s weekly Clore Fellowship diaries and distils learning from Clore alongside critical reflections on almost 3 decades of leadership work at GWL. The key chapters focus on:

  • Learning on (Feminist) Leadership: questions and propositions for and about the cultural sector.
  • Learning on (Feminist) leadership: questions and propositions for GWL and other cultural organisations.
  • And conclude with Personal Learning on Feminist Leadership and ‘Eldership’: perspectives from Adele on her own ‘living of and working on a feminist life’

Provocations, Dilemmas, Breakthroughs

A sample of the Provocations, Dilemmas, Breakthroughs, as well as Influential Texts, Images captured and developed through the Clore Fellowship and Post Fellowship Research period are shared here.


This bibliography maps Adele’s reading during and after the Clore Fellowship and relates to the key themes and research undertaken around (feminist) leadership. It also includes texts identified by the wider research team at GWL considered we consider may be of interest to others exploring this topic.

Feminist Leadership Directory

With support from a Glasgow Women’s Library based research team, Adele created a directory of cultural organisations who are developing and using innovative (feminist) leadership approaches. A sample of those Adele had connections with and/or who were influential in the research process can be found here.


Research in progress and learning from Clore was shared in a range of dissemination sessions during the Clore Fellowship and Post Fellowship period.

Further blocks and iterations of the research will be shared across a range of platforms and forums in the forthcoming weeks and months.

Collaborators, colleagues, supporters and contributors

Adele extends her sincere thanks to everyone who made space, shared insights, gave their time and helped her on the Clore Fellowship journey and in the Post Fellowship Research process.

Adele greatly appreciated funding support from: Clore Fellowship Leadership, Creative Scotland, British Council Scotland, British Council Brazil, British Council Kenya, AHRC.

Full list of thanks and acknowledgements

Clore Leadership logo (Clore Leadership in white sans serif capitals, right-aligned on a pink background)UK Research and Innovation: Arts and Humanities Research Council logo (the UKRI acronym is presented in a blue next to a stylised R in shades of yellow, with the text Arts and Humanities Research Council in blue)