Theses Doctoral

Perceptions of leadership among women in academic medicine: A case study comparing the perspectives of full-time faculty with and without institutionally defined leadership titles

Hastie, Maya Jalbout

Despite progress made over the past decade, women in medicine are underrepresented in advanced academic leadership positions. This qualitative case study explored the perceptions of full-time women faculty at one large urban academic medical center regarding leadership trajectories within academic medicine, comparing those who are and those who are not in institutionally-defined leadership roles. The purpose of the research was to explore participants’ perceptions of the characteristics of effective leadership, how they view their own leadership potential, what motivates them to (or not to) seek leadership positions, what facilitators and challenges they may face in seeking such positions, what rewards and sacrifices they may have experienced on their career paths, and how and what they learned in the process.
In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 27 full-time women faculty members of one large urban academic medical center. The participants were recruited based on leadership positions, years in practice and specialties.
Several key findings emerged from the interviews. First, all participants described interpersonal skills as important elements of effective leadership in academic medicine. Second, women described gender biases in the workplace as challenges on their career paths. Also, work-life balance and the unique demands placed on working mothers were discussed. Third, mentoring relationships were perceived as facilitators of career advancement. Also, a majority of participants described having an interest in and self-efficacy toward leadership. Fourth, women described focusing their learning on acquiring organizational and administrative skills, through a combination of informal and formal learning. Most of the learning described was incidental and unplanned. Experiences were important for the incremental development of leadership proficiency. Women engaged in reflection to improve performance and to evaluate self. The benefits of engaging in communities of practice were described.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Organization and Leadership
Thesis Advisors
Bitterman, Jeanne E.
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
August 27, 2019