Role of gender in higher educational leadership

The purpose of this research project was to understand how gender informs leadership for women leaders in higher education. Specifically, this qualitative research study examined the backgrounds and leadership experiences of multiple women administrators to better understand the communication factors that contribute to their success. Further, this study sought to examine the various and important ways that interpersonal communication dynamics affected the leadership styles of women administrators in higher education. Data from this study informs current leaders, and future leaders, about the ways in which their leadership behaviors are affected. Eight women executives from different Southern California higher education institutions were interviewed, in-person, with themes such as collaboration, exclusion, and perception being explored. The data from this research study showed how Communication Studies concepts are poignantly and inextricably bound to leadership, and multiple recommendations for future practice are offered to current leaders in order to enhance their success as leaders.