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Changing views of self-as-leader: What female college students tell us

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Leadership has been the focus of ample scholarship; however, female college students’ leadership identity remains under-studied. This chapter describes a four-phase model which emerged from a grounded theory study that sought to understand the process by which female college students develop a leadership identity. In this model, participants (traditional-aged female college students) moved from views of (1) leadership as external to themselves to (2) leadership as positional to (3) collaborative to (4) becoming social change agents. Students’ awareness of whether or how being a woman mattered to their conceptualization of leadership shifted from limited identification to deepened consciousness of how leadership is gendered. In our discussion of these findings, we consider implications for practice and research.




McKenzie, B. L., & Iverson, S. V. (2017). Changing views of self-as-leader: What female college students tell us. In Critical Approaches to Women and Gender in Higher Education (pp. 277–297). Palgrave Macmillan.

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