• Campus Environment Influence on Women’s Leadership Development at Small Private Institutions

      Weina, Kasie
      The purpose of this study was to gain a deeper understanding of women’s leadership and the important influential factors that impact women’s leadership development. Campus environmental factors and gender socialization were examined in an effort to understand women’s leadership identity and development and the potential influences on that development. Data were collected in a semi-structured interview with seven students from two different institutions. Both institutions were private and located in a Midwestern city. One institution had an entire on-campus population of women and the other institution had an on-campus population of 21% women. This study supported the existence of a connection between women’s leadership development, the campus environment, and gender socialization. Perceptions of their leadership were influenced by external factors such as role models, adult and peer affirmation, and the perceptions of others and internal factors such as confidence and initiative. The themes that emerged regarding the campus environmental differences were (a) self-perceptions through language, (b) demonstration of worth, (c) gender versus environment, and (d) expectations for behavior. Overall, the all-women’s institutional environment was perceived as more flexible and less dependent on gender socialization than the male-dominated institutional environment, which supports that the campus environment is an influential factor in how women perceive leadership.