Making Meaning of Barriers and Adversity: Experiences of Women Leaders in Higher Education
AbstractExtensive research has demonstrated that women aspiring to and serving as leaders face many barriers, which creates a glass ceiling effect for women's advancement into top leadership positions. In higher education, women hold only 26 percent of all college and university presidencies. The objective of this qualitative study was to discover the meaning of adversity for women leaders in higher education. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with 26 women in senior leadership roles in higher education. The research question was "How do women leaders in higher education make meaning of adversity?" Participants reported experiencing wide-ranging types of adversity, including gender-based leadership barriers. While adversity had a generally positive effect on participant identity, it had disparate effects on self-esteem, power, connections to others, and worldviews. The common thread was that adversity can lead to growth and opportunity but such benefits are intertwined with pain and loss.
The AWL Journal is an open access journal which is a social justice and social responsiblity that we as editors and founders are committed to uphold. Therefore, as open access, the author retains the copyright for his/her copyright.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms: Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.