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Article

Awakenings: An Authentic Leadership Development Program to Break the Glass Ceiling

1
Business Economics Department, Business School, Universidad San Pablo-CEU, 28003 Madrid, Spain
2
Economics Department, Business School, IE University, 28006 Madrid, Spain
3
Economics Department, Business School, UNED University, 28040 Madrid, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Mónica Segovia Pérez and Eva Cifre
Sustainability 2021, 13(13), 7476; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13137476
Received: 21 May 2021 / Revised: 20 June 2021 / Accepted: 29 June 2021 / Published: 5 July 2021
(This article belongs to the Collection Social Sustainability in Business from a Gender Perspective)
Companies are vital agents in achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. One key role that businesses can play in achieving the 5th Sustainable Development Goal on gender equality is implementing training programs for their women executives so they can reach top corporate leadership positions. In this paper, we test the effectiveness of an Authentic Leadership Development (ALD) program for women executives. By interviewing 32 participants from this ALD program and building on authentic leadership theory, we find that this program lifts women participants’ self-efficacy perception, as well as their self-resolution to take control of their careers. The driver for both results is a reflective thinking process elicited during the program that leads women to abandon the stereotype of a low status role and lack of self-direction over time. Through the relational authenticity developed during the program, women participants develop leadership styles that are more congenial with their gender group, yet highly accepted by the in-group leader members, which enhances their social capital. After the program, the women participants flourished as authentic leaders, were able to activate and foster their self-esteem and social capital, and enhanced their agency in career advancement, increasing their likelihood of breaking the glass ceiling. View Full-Text
Keywords: glass ceiling; women executives; authentic leadership; authentic leadership development program glass ceiling; women executives; authentic leadership; authentic leadership development program
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MDPI and ACS Style

Martínez-Martínez, M.; Molina-López, M.M.; Mateos de Cabo, R.; Gabaldón, P.; González-Pérez, S.; Izquierdo, G. Awakenings: An Authentic Leadership Development Program to Break the Glass Ceiling. Sustainability 2021, 13, 7476. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13137476

AMA Style

Martínez-Martínez M, Molina-López MM, Mateos de Cabo R, Gabaldón P, González-Pérez S, Izquierdo G. Awakenings: An Authentic Leadership Development Program to Break the Glass Ceiling. Sustainability. 2021; 13(13):7476. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13137476

Chicago/Turabian Style

Martínez-Martínez, Miryam, Manuel M. Molina-López, Ruth Mateos de Cabo, Patricia Gabaldón, Susana González-Pérez, and Gregorio Izquierdo. 2021. "Awakenings: An Authentic Leadership Development Program to Break the Glass Ceiling" Sustainability 13, no. 13: 7476. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13137476

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