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ERIC Number: ED554506
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 270
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3032-2767-7
Stereotypes and Their Consequences for Women as Leaders in Higher Education Administration
Hoeritz, Kimberly Jean
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Duquesne University
Women are underrepresented as leaders in most facets of American work life. While present in fields that are traditionally feminine, there is a scarcity of women leaders in all other occupations including business, government, science and technology, agriculture, education in general and higher education in particular. While women currently comprise the majority of our enrolled college students as well as our graduates, they are not present as leaders among those responsible for running our colleges and universities. Women hold 23% of presidential positions, 31% of executive vice president roles, 38% of chief academic officer positions, and 36% of deanships. Women are much more likely to hold positions as directors of human resources (70%), continuing education (65%), community services (60%), and chief diversity officer (56%). Eagly and Karau (2002) suggest that the paucity of women leaders is due in part to gender role stereotypes. Women are stereotypically viewed as warm, caring, and nurturing as well as indecisive, emotional, and passive and have earned this reputation due to the role they've played in society. These stereotypes, however, carry over into the workplace, and women are not viewed as having the qualities necessary to be leaders, as leaders are considered to be decisive, rational, and strong. Eagly and Karau's role congruity theory of prejudice toward women leaders states that a prejudice toward women leaders develops due to the incongruity between the two stereotypes, and, as a result, women will have less access to leadership opportunities and will face greater obstacles as they enact leadership roles. This dissertation presents a qualitative study intended to explore the impact of stereotypes on women as leaders in higher education administration. A multiple case study design was employed, and three women leaders below the levels of president, chief academic officer, and dean were interviewed. The semi-structured interviews were recorded, transcribed, and coded for themes as the responses related to the research questions. The findings of this study confirm the presence of stereotypes in the settings in which the women worked, and these stereotypes resulted in the expectation that the women behave in accordance with their gender role. When seeking leadership roles, the women were passed over in favor of men who were equally or less qualified. While enacting leadership roles, they were challenged, criticized, and were subject to acts of retaliation and discrimination. In summary, their experiences mirrored the consequences for women leaders that Eagly and Karau (2002) describe. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A