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“Making Ourselves and Others Possible”: Gender and Leadership in Irish Not For Profit Organisations

Ryan, Fiona M. (2019) “Making Ourselves and Others Possible”: Gender and Leadership in Irish Not For Profit Organisations. Masters thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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Abstract

Purpose
Ireland has a gender leadership gap in that women are under-represented in senior decision-making roles across sectors (European Commission, 2019): public, private and not for profit. This paper concentrates on the latter, specifically on women leaders in the not for profit sector and their journeys to senior decision making roles.

The goal of this paper is to research the experience of female senior decision-makers in the not-for-profit sector in Ireland in order to understand their leadership journeys with particular reference to drivers and barriers to their current position. Specifically, it will focus on those women leaders in the social services sub sector using organisational income as an indicator of scale of an organisation

Design/ Methodology/ Approach
The research employed in this study was a mix of both primary and secondary sources. The methodology for primary research employed in this study was a qualitative one, involving the implementation of in-depth interviews with female not for profit CEOs.

In relation to the latter, in order to understand the scale and scope of the issue of gender and leadership in Ireland, and specifically the not for profit sector, secondary research focused on not only on current academic research but those sources used in social policy formulation in order to provide a statistically-informed evidence-base in which to anchor the area under consideration.

Findings
Women are under-represented in senior decision-making roles in the not for profit sector. The picture is not uniform in that the larger the organisation and wealthier the more likely it is to be headed by male chief executives.

Women leaders in the not for profit sector come from a variety of professional backgrounds, few starting off in the not for profit sector but appear to share a similar leadership style that could be described as “transformational leadership”.
- Idealised Influence: leader is a role model
- Inspirational Motivation: assigning meaning and challenge to tasks
- Intellectual Stimulation: Seeking innovation and agility with the capacity to reframe issues/ challenges
- Individualised Consideration: leaders act as mentors and coaches
Each of the female not for profit leaders demonstrated significant aspects of this leadership style.

Originality/ Value
In comparison with the private sector, very little research has been done on the leadership journeys of not for profit leaders. The intersection of gender and leadership in an Irish not for profit context provides additional value.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman > Gender
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management > Human Resource Management
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology > Leadership
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management > Human Resource Management > Leadership

H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > Non Profit Organisations. Voluntary Sector.
Divisions: School of Business > Master of Business Administration
Depositing User: CAOIMHE NI MHAICIN
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2019 12:35
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2019 12:35
URI: http://trap.ncirl.ie/id/eprint/3961

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