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ERIC Number: ED554522
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 130
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3032-1723-4
The Barriers, Fears and Motivations Encountered by Women Leaders in Higher Education Leadership Roles
Rabas, Audrey
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
As the number of women working within leadership positions in the higher education system increases, there becomes more of a need to research these positions. With the number of women holding leadership positions in higher education organizations increasing in what are still considered male dominated roles, these women are being expected to exhibit the same leadership styles as the men. The result of this is frustration and various obstacles that women must overcome in order to succeed in their positions. The current study attempted to better understand the personal reasons and motivations that account for why women are taking leadership positions in higher education organizations and the concerns that come along with them. Using a qualitative phenomenological approach with open ended survey questions allowed for the exploration of the personal experiences of women working in higher education. The study also attempted to compare women working in private versus public universities as well as to compare those who have worked in their current leadership role for less than five years to those who have worked in their current role for more than five years and examined current leadership development programs specific to women in place at the organizations. The study found that women are motivated both internally and externally when in leadership roles. Although many of the participants indicated initially taking a leadership role was done by default, most also indicated that over time personal and internal motivations emerged that motivated them to continue working in and pursuing new leadership roles. Participants reported most barriers as being externally imposed by the organization and colleagues. In addition, the participants indicated awareness of only a small number of women specific leadership programs in place within their organizations. The findings supported previous research regarding the barriers and concerns women encounter as well as the importance of mentorship programs and other similar development programs. Based on the findings of the current study, recommendations are provided for implementation of women specific leadership development opportunities within higher education organizations. [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:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A