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Looking Back, Looking Forward: Museum Leadership in 2016


"Can Museum Women Have It All?" followed by "Is Negotiating Not a Museum Thing?" and "Ambition in the Museum Workplace." Together they netted a whopping 4, 651 readers. Not like the Kardashians we realize, but for us big numbers. So with all of that in mind, here are some predictions, hopes and fears for the coming year: For individuals: We hope individuals engage in active career planning that includes salary discussion and negotiation; We wonder if we will see more women tapped as CEOs of large museums (and we'll see more women board chairs, too); And we hope that we hear museum staffers speak up when women and minorities are left out of the conversation or diminished intentionally or unintentionally. Remember what Gloria Steinem says: "If you're called a bitch, smile sweetly and say thank you." For organizations: We wonder whether more museums will commit to gender equity in pay and promotions through transparent and accountable practices; We hope that leadership development of boards and staffs is an encouraged, supported, and ongoing practice; And we hope museums, historic houses and heritage organizations will make 2016 the year for personnel; that they will create a personnel policy if they do not have one and invest in their staff. For the museum field:  We see strong leadership for gender equity as an ethical imperative for our professional associations and leading museums;  We hope that just as it's taken on diversity, AAM will see gender as a topic that matters to our industry and that ongoing gender issues also relate to the overarching topic of inclusion; We hope to see more leadership development opportunities at conferences and in the programming of our professional associations.  Last, we hope to see the field identify and model successful, sustainable ways to achieve greater diversity of staff, boards and audiences in all types of museums.


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