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Dissertation

Addressing gender bias in the workplace: Development of a leadership training program for women in management positions

13 December 2013

Abstract

This study examines the experiences of women leaders related to leadership identity development, coping with overt and covert gender bias in the workplace, and strategies for success. The study utilized a semi-structured interview format to examine participants’ lived experiences as leaders, to elicit feedback on what forms of support they needed to be successful, and discover what individual and organizational factors contributed to their success. The analyzed data were used to develop an organizational leadership-training model for women. Interviews were analyzed cross-sectionally and prevalent themes from the qualitative data were noted and explored to determine areas deemed important for the development of a leadership program for women transitioning for the first time into a managerial position. Coded interview data were sorted into ten unique categories: (1) participants’ comprehensive belief systems, (2) early influences and precipitating factors, (3) support systems, (4) leadership styles, (5) mentorship, (6) strategies and skill sets, (7) rewards of leadership, (8) challenges of leadership, (9) work-life balance, and (10) gender bias. Based upon interview data and previous research, an organizational training model for women leaders was developed. Recommendations for implementing a leadership-training model are provided.


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