Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Leadership (MAL)




This study examines three distinct trends in the literature on women and leadership: advocacy for feminine leadership styles, support of gender-neutral leadership theory, and focus on factors beyond gender, such as issues of power and organizational structure. The study continues with an in-depth examination of the leadership experiences of five middle management women who work at publicly held companies and who specialize in marketing and corporate communications, fields that are of increasing importance in today's fast-paced, competitive economy. Results and discussion indicate five themes for further exploration: (a) the importance of competence to leadership success, (b) the value of communication and building relationships, (c) the limited concern for gender barriers in organizational settings, (d) the power of confidence, and (e) the connection between self-awareness and personal definitions of success. The paper offers suggestions for further research and concludes with implications for women and businesses.


SC 11.MAL.2001.Wehr.WC