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Insight into the Organizational Culture and Challenges Faced by Women STEM Leaders in Africa

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Food Security and Safety Niche Area, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, North-West University, Private Bag X2046, Mmabatho 2735, South Africa
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Business School, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, North-West University, Private Bag X2046, Mmabatho 2735, South Africa
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School of Management Sciences, University of Venda, Thohoyandou 0950, South Africa
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Nigel Parton
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(3), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10030105
Received: 16 February 2021 / Revised: 5 March 2021 / Accepted: 8 March 2021 / Published: 19 March 2021
Compared to their men counterparts, women do not rapidly climb up the leadership ladder due to a glass ceiling obstacle. This study aims to explore the inhibiting factors demotivating Africa women’s leadership pursuit in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). A qualitative approach was adopted using online open-ended questions to seek narratives from African women leaders on their roles and experiences of a STEM career. Data were collected using a non-probability, purposive sample of African women leaders in STEM in African research institutes and universities. Forty-two women in leadership positions in 12 African countries participated in the study, which was content analyzed, seeking patterns and themes to explore the narratives. A common thread exists in the tone and life experiences of the African women leaders in STEM. Scholarship, supportive organizational structure, commitment, hard work, and tenacity were all experienced as enablers of the career path process and their attained positions. The education level contributed to a strong leadership position. Women experience less acceptance than males in STEM leadership as the organizational culture still devalues women in leadership positions in several African countries. The study’s contribution, limitations, recommendations, and managerial implications are discussed, with suggestions for further research are made. View Full-Text
Keywords: academic institution; career progression; gender imbalance; glass ceiling; professionals academic institution; career progression; gender imbalance; glass ceiling; professionals
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MDPI and ACS Style

Babalola, O.O.; du Plessis, Y.; Babalola, S.S. Insight into the Organizational Culture and Challenges Faced by Women STEM Leaders in Africa. Soc. Sci. 2021, 10, 105. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10030105

AMA Style

Babalola OO, du Plessis Y, Babalola SS. Insight into the Organizational Culture and Challenges Faced by Women STEM Leaders in Africa. Social Sciences. 2021; 10(3):105. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10030105

Chicago/Turabian Style

Babalola, Olubukola O.; du Plessis, Yvonne; Babalola, Sunday S. 2021. "Insight into the Organizational Culture and Challenges Faced by Women STEM Leaders in Africa" Soc. Sci. 10, no. 3: 105. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10030105

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Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

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