SOC 490: Independent Study examining role of education in combating women’s inequality in leadership

This independent research will allow the student (Lindsay Farling) to develop her own research interests in asking what are the major challenges in the workplace that keep women from having leadership roles, and then researching what can be done to create/suggest how education can play a role in eliminating inequality for women.  Lindsay will review the key existing literature on the former, including gathering comparative data showing numbers of women in top leadership roles (both private sector and public roles) for the 36 OECD countries.  The international context is important in Lindsay’s proposed second stage, which is to collate and evaluate existing educational programs in the global context that demonstrate success in eliminating inequality for women at work, in government, and in societal elites.


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Learning objectives are:

  1. Develop an understanding of women’s inequality in leadership roles as explained by the dominant theories of glass ceiling, labyrinth, and gender bias.
  2. Provide a recognition and understanding of gender inequality and global differences as intersectionality for improving women’s leadership equity
  3. Create a database of effective educational pedagogies to address inequality in women’s leadership opportunities.


Required reading:


Through the Labyrinth: The Truth about How Women Become Leaders by Alice Eagly and Linda Carli.


Women and Leadership Around the World, edited by Faith Wambura Ngunjiri, Susan Madsen, Karen Longman, and Cynthia Cherry.


Handbook of Research on Gender and Leadership, edited by Susan R. Madsen


Women as Global Leaders, edited by Faith Wambura Ngunjiri and Susan Madsen


Other readings as assigned.



Methods of grading

This course will be graded on the basis of the scale described in the Shippensburg Undergraduate Catalog.  Student grades will be based equally on assessments of competency:

  1. Participation (satisfactory participation in discussion venue with faculty)
  2. Satisfactory mastery of relevant theory as related to leadership and gender, specifically annotating the overall list of sources utilized and preparing an appropriate literature review; and completing meta analysis of pedagogies.


Grades:  Each of these components counts for one-half of the overall course grade in this course. 

Academic Integrity: All students should read and be familiar with Shippensburg’s regulations on academic dishonesty in the university’s undergraduate catalog.

Actions constituting academic dishonesty include (but are not limited to)

  1. Giving and/or receiving answers before and/or during an assignment, examination, or quiz
  2. Possession of unauthorized materials before and/or during an examination or quiz
  3. Plagiarism: appropriating or imitating the language, ideas, or thoughts of another and representing them as one’s own work.

If you take or borrow anything from anyone, acknowledge your source in a citation.  This includes any electronic source.

If someone asks you to loan him/her your work (written or disc), do not.  Both “loaner” and “borrower” are liable for plagiarism.

Plagiarism may result in a failing grade for the course, as well as any other consequences imposed by Shippensburg policy.


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