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Human Resource Development Review






Sage Publications, Inc.

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The dominant narrative on the history of training and development, especially in the United States, reflects entrenched gender bias with little acknowledgment of human resource development (HRD) designed for and delivered by women. The role of women’s organizations as forces for social change, advocates for gender equality, and providers of leadership development are significant areas of HRD history largely ignored in the literature. This historical study considers archival records on the former YWCA Asilomar Conference Grounds, near Monterey, California which was the first conference training facility owned by a women’s organization in the US. The study is focused on the years 1912–1951 when Asilomar hosted camps, conferences, meetings, and other events incorporating core elements of training, leadership development, and career coaching. The findings of substantial efforts directed to women’s leadership development and training are presented along with discussion on the influence of overlooked narratives related to the history of HRD on research and practice.


Kenneth R. Bartlett, Susan R. Madsen, Michael Valesano, Ying Feng, Asilomar: A Historical Study of the Role of the YWCA in Women's Leadership Development as an Absent Narrative in the History of HRD, Human Resource Development Review 21, 2 pp. 180-197. Copyright © 2022 The Author(s). DOI:10.1177/15344843221086189.

This paper has been accepted for publication in Human Resource Development Review.

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