Journal of Education & Social Policy

ISSN 2375-0782 (Print) 2375-0790 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/jesp

Women’s Leadership Development: A Social Cognitive Approach
Laura Baker, EdD Elias Demetriades, PhD Saba Senses-Ozyurt, PhD

Despite the preponderance of evidence that achieving gender balance in corporate leadership ranks is a value proposition which results in higher profits and better overall corporate performance, little research has been done to question the efficacy of existing leadership development constructs for women. This study used a multiphase, mixed-methods approach to explore which factors influence women’s leadership development in male dominated organizational setting. The study included seven interview participants and38 survey respondents. All participants were female supervisors aged 26-72 working in a male dominated and technical organization. Results from the semi-structured interviews were used to shape the survey content which included open ended, scaled, and multiple choice questions. Results from both the interviews and the surveys revealed that women predominately learn leadership through social cognitive interactions, followed by experiential learning. Work sponsored courses were the primary source of leadership doctrine.

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