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Motivations for Women Leadership Positions in Higher Education Institutions

Today’s rapidly changing and diverse global society is well reflected in universities, and present challenges to how we prepare and educate students today to be the leaders of tomorrow. Despite the proliferation of women leadership research in the past, investigating the ways in which women leaders enact and experience leadership, as well as the trend continues to surface unanswered questions. The study focused on women in leadership positions in universities in Zambia and Zimbabwe. The aim was to demonstrate women representation in leadership roles as well as the motivations to attain a leadership position in a university environment. Through the framework of selection, development, leadership style, and performance, the study adopted an integrated mixed method research design by making use of a surveys and semi-structured interviews to unpack in-depth insights from respondents. The target population for the study included women in leadership positions. A total of 70 participants for the survey were selected using purposive sampling. All participants equally filled up the semi-structured questions that provided in-depth information and the five scale Likert scale provided opinions and attitudes of respondents. A total of 60 completely filled questionnaires and semi-structured interviews were returned. The conclusion for the study demonstrated that women are motivated into leadership positions because of their capability, experience gained and the qualifications they have attained. Women are capable of maximizing productivity as leaders just as their male counterparts.

Keywords: Senior leadership positions, leadership style, motivation, Higher Education Institutions, inequalities