Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Women's Career Development: The Lived Experience of Canadian University Women Presidents
by Quinlan, Colleen, Ph.D., The University of Toledo, 2012, 159; 10631221
Abstract (Summary)

As of July 2011, the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) reported 17 of Canada's 95 universities were led by women. While this represents considerable change from 1974, when Pauline Jewett became the first woman president to lead a co-educational Canadian university, progress for women climbing the educational leadership ladder to the office of the university president in Canada has been slow. The purpose of this qualitative research study was to describe the lived experience of Canadian university women presidents as they developed their career paths to the presidency. This was accomplished through an examination of the women's own perceptions and experiences about the development of their careers specifically related to personal and professional opportunities and barriers, the role of gender, the integration of their work and non-work lives, and their advice to women who aspire to become university presidents. The participants included eight women presidents of Canadian universities and data were collected through individual, semi-structured interviews. The findings showed that each of the women journeyed through a unique path to the presidency, yet their stories shared common themes. Personal characteristics, family background, educational experiences, and mentoring relationships were identified as critical influences on their career development experience. Challenges stemmed from the struggle to balance career goals with caring responsibilities, cope with the inherent difficulties of the role of a university president, and navigate gender issues. Advice for women aspiring to become university presidents, included (a) advice based on personal development and (b) advice based on professional development.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Meabon, David
Commitee: Gentry, Debra, Gosetti, Penny Poplin, Meabon, David, Way, R. Bruce
School: The University of Toledo
Department: Higher Education
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-A 78/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Canadian studies, Educational leadership, Womens studies, Gender studies, Higher education
Keywords: Canadian higher education, Women academic presidents, Women and higher education, Women and leadership, Women's career development
Publication Number: 10631221
ISBN: 9780355015003
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