Gender and leadership: Student perspectives on gender stereotypes in round square schools

Kanwal Syeda HASSAN, Ewan Thomas Mansell WRIGHT

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Leadership is a valuable skill for young people to navigate transformations in modern societies and find solutions to overcome global crises. However, gender stereotypes regarding leadership persist, potentially limiting female students’ leadership aspirations, experiences, and opportunities in schools. This study explores student perspectives on gender and leadership through the conceptual lens of student voice. 

Design/Approach/Methods: Interviews were conducted with students (n = 93) from 12 Round Square secondary schools in 11 countries: Australia, Argentina, Chile, China, India (two schools), New Zealand, the United States, Korea, Switzerland, Tanzania, and South Africa. 

Findings: The findings demonstrate how interest in developing and practicing leadership transcends gender. The students exhibited a deep conviction in their ability to initiate change through leadership in their schools and communities. However, female students were more cognizant of gender stereotypes regarding leadership and how this represented a barrier to realizing leadership opportunities. 

Originality/Value: This study presents students’ perspectives on leadership and gender in contexts that appear favorable for student leadership. Primarily, it argues that although schools may seek to promote equality in leadership opportunities, female students often remain comparatively sensitive to and aware of gender stereotypes. Overall, the study highlights the complex and deeply entrenched barriers to female leadership. Copyright © 2023 The Author(s).

Original languageEnglish
JournalECNU Review of Education
Early online dateNov 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Nov 2023

Citation

Hassan, K. S., & Wright, E. (2023). Gender and leadership: Student perspectives on gender stereotypes in round square schools. ECNU Review of Education. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1177/20965311231210010

Keywords

  • Gender
  • Leadership
  • Round Square
  • Schools
  • Student voice

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