Investigating the Perceived Barriers to Women’s Rise to Leadership in Higher Education in Saudi Arabia

Alghofaily, Lama (2019) Investigating the Perceived Barriers to Women’s Rise to Leadership in Higher Education in Saudi Arabia. PhD thesis, University of Lincoln.

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Investigating the Perceived Barriers to Women’s Rise to Leadership in Higher Education in Saudi Arabia
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Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
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Abstract

Abundant research has been conducted on barriers affecting women’s rise to leadership in Saudi Arabia. However, a number of developments have altered these barriers and this warrants the need for new research on the subject. This thesis is focused on one such development in the form of Saudi Vision 2030. Past research has identified a range of organisational, socio-cultural and personal barriers affecting women’s rise to leadership in Saudi higher education institutions (HEIs), several of which have been directly affected by the reforms announced and the steps taken by the Saudi government under Vision 2030. This research aimed to find out how Vision 2030 is likely to affect these barriers and consequently which barriers will continue to affect women leaders in Saudi HEIs. Such studies are likely to help policymakers in understanding how to continue their reform agendas to reach a desired future state.

This mixed-methods research study began with a questionnaire survey of female academics in Saudi HEIs. Quantitative data were statistically analysed using SPSS. This was followed by semi-structured interviews with senior women professionals working in Saudi HEIs, providing qualitative data which were analysed using a thematic analysis approach.

This research finds that a number of organisational, cultural and personal barriers affect women’s rise to a leadership position in Saudi HEIs. Furthermore, it finds that Vision 2030 has started to directly affect some of these barriers, leading to a widespread belief that women will face fewer such barriers in future. This research recommends continuing with the current reform agenda in order to significantly bridge the gender gap in leadership in Saudi HEIs. In particular, it recommends giving more recognition to women’s achievements in public, acknowledging these achievements in the same vein as men’s. Furthermore, it recommends providing women with equal development and growth opportunities. These are among the key steps that could significantly alter the status of women in leadership positions in Saudi HEIs.

Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Education
ID Code:44441
Deposited On:30 Mar 2021 15:06

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