The Impact of Critical Incidents on the Leadership Traits of Female Community College Deans Laura YannuzziBenedictine University
The Issue • Despite advancements in equality, women are still faced with: • Significant pay gap • Under-representation in leadership positions • Predominantly male supervisors • Leadership development devised and focused on male leaders
What we know • Women in the workforce now outnumber men in terms of: • Education 2 • Employment 3 • Leadership Aspirations 2 • Community colleges are expecting large numbers of retirements in coming years, culminating in a ‘leadership gap’ 1 • While still marginalized in terms of representation, women experience more leadership opportunities at community colleges than four year institutions 4 • These trends set the stage for tremendous opportunities for women in academic leadership positions within community colleges
What we don’t know:Research Problem • While extensive research exists concerning women moving into academic leadership, little is known about what happens as a result of that move. • As women seize the opportunity to increase their representation in academic leadership positions, what impact will these experiences have on them? • How will critical incidents that occur during their tenure as leaders shape their leadership traits? • Will they view themselves differently as a result of serving in leadership capacities?
The Framework • This problem will be explored through a phenomenological perspective, seeking to capture the lived experiences of female academic leaders: • How do women perceive themselves as leaders? • How do women make sense of critical happenings that occur during their careers? • How do women use these experiences to help develop effective leadership traits?
The Purpose • The purpose of this study is to explore the impact of critical incidents on the development of effective leadership traits in female academic deans at community colleges. • Questions • What experiences or interpersonal qualities lead women to pursue academic leadership? • Are there common critical incidents that female leaders experiences during their career? • Do these critical incidents change the way women see themselves? • How do these critical incidents impact effective leadership traits?
Targeted Audience • This research has the potential to benefit: • Women as they consider, continue or reflect on academic leadership experiences • Community College administrators as they develop strategies for succession planning • Researchers and practitioners involved in the analysis and delivery of leadership development models
Review of the Literature- Books • Bataille, G. M., & Brown, B. E. (2006). Faculty career paths: Multiple routes to academic success and satisfaction. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers. • Ehrenberg, R. G. (2004). Governing academia. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. • Escover, M. (2008). Creating collaborative leadership and shared governance at a california community college: A case study. Lewiston: Edwin Mellen Press. • Grogan, M., & Shakeshaft, C. (2011). Women and educational leadership (1st ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. • Kezar, A. J. (2009). Rethinking leadership in a complex, multicultural, and global environment: New concepts and models for higher education (1st ed.). Sterling, Va.: Stylus Pub. • Martin, J. L. (2011). Women as leaders in education: Succeeding despite inequity, discrimination, and other challenges. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Praeger.
Review of the Literature- Select Articles • Women's Status in Higher Education. (2011). ASHE Higher Education Report, 37(1), 1-161. • “We know more about the representation of women than we do about aspects of campus climate that contribute to women's status.” • “We know that judging progress toward equity by aggregate numbers alone yields a warped image of equity attained.” • Dahlvig, J. E., & Longman, K. A. (2010). Women's Leadership Development: A Study of Defining Moments. Christian Higher Education, 9(3), 238-258. “women identified what they perceived to be their “most defining moment:” (a) someone speaking potential, sometimes as succinctly as a single sentence, into their lives, leading to a reframing of self-perception; (b) encountering a person or situation that resulted in reframing the participant’s understanding of leadership in ways that allowed these women to begin perceiving themselves as leaders; and (c) experiencing a situation that led to feeling compelled to stand up for a conviction or strong belief.” • Gianakos,I. (2002). Predictors of Coping With Work Stress: The Influences of Sex, Gender Role, Social Desirability, and Locus of Control. Sex Roles, 46, 5, 149-158. • Men are more likely to use alcohol and women more likely to use direct action coping in response to work stress • Femininity and/or masculinity scores are related to control-related coping but are unrelated to escape-related coping.
Review of the Literature- Select Articles • Giannini, S. T. (2001). Future Agendas for Women Community College Leaders and Change Agents. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 25(3). “As women play a major role in these educational reforms, they must simultaneously develop a personal version of their plan of action for renewal and commitment to mentoring female students, faculty, and staff at their colleges.” • Stout-Stewart, S. (2005). Female Community College Presidents: Effective Leadership Patterns and Behaviors. Community College Journal of Research and Practice,29(4) • No significant differences between female community college presidents of rural, suburban, and urban/inner city colleges in leadership patterns. • Relationship found between percentage of full time students and leadership • Townsend, B. K., & Twombly, S. B. (2007). Accidental Equity: The Status of Women in the Community College. Equity & Excellence In Education, 40(3), 208-217. doi:10.1080/10665680701334777 • Examines climate of community college with respect to diversity • Finds that climates which support the development of women appear to be more accidental than intentional
Proposed Methodology • Qualitative Study • Participants: 10 Female Academic Deans from Community Colleges, identified through Purposeful Sampling • Data Collection: In-depth Interviews, using a semi-structured interview guide, will ask participants to reflect on leadership experiences • Data Analysis: Interviews will be coded and analyzed for: • recognition of critical incidents • themes regarding the impact of leadership experiences on the participants’ leadership development • themes regarding how experiences impact the way participants view themselves
References • Shults, C. (2001). The Critical Impact of Impending Retirements on Community College Leadership (Leadership Series, No. 1). Retrieved from American Association of Community Colleges website: http://www.aacc.nche.edu/Publications/Briefs/Documents/11062001leadership.pdf • Patten, E., & Parker, K. (2012, April 19). A Gender Reversal On Career Aspirations. Retrieved July 4, 2012, from Pew Research Center website: http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2012/04/19/a-gender-reversal-on-career-aspirations/ • Mulligan, C. B. (2010, February 5). In a First, Women Surpass Men on U.S. Payrolls. Retrieved July 4, 2012, from New York Times website: http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/05/in-historical-first-women-outnumber-men-on-us-payrolls/ • Drake, E. (2008). Literature Conceptualizing Women in Community Colleges: 1997-2007. Community College Journal Of Research & Practice, 32(10), 762-777.