Beyond the glass ceiling: an exploration of the experiences of female corporate organizational leaders in Ghana
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonJournal of Human Behavior in The Social Environment. 2021 10.1080/10911359.2021.1970073
Although an increase in the inclusion of women in the global labor market has been reported in recent times, existing literature show that women are still heavily underrepresented in organizational leadership positions. Many studies in this area mainly focused on perceived barriers to women’s ascend to leadership positions, while little attention is paid to insights into the lived experiences of women who have already managed to assume leadership positions. This study was conducted to plug this gap in the literature. We interviewed 10 women corporate organizational leaders in Ghana to share their lived experiences as female leaders within the Ghanaian context. Our findings reveal that women still face several challenges even after breaking the glass ceiling to attain leadership positions in corporate organizations in Ghana. The main challenges were raised around the issue of gender, discrimination, age, their roles as mothers and wives. On the other hand, their positions also came with benefits and opportunities such as improved financial status, a command for respect as well as increasing their social and business networking capacity. More importantly, age although a disadvantage for the young women leaders, it was seen as a resource for older women as it enhances their respect and seen as performance of motherhood roles in this Ghanaian context. The study concludes that although women leaders’ experiences are largely negative, older women leaders seemed to utilize their positions actively and creatively and perform pseudo-motherhood roles which in turn helps them in the performance of their leadership roles.