Despite substantial investments on gender issues, social pressures and cultural norms continue to suppress women’s career advancement in Kenya. Kenyan career women are making concerted efforts to develop their values beyond the academic, intellectual, and professional capabilities. To access to power, Kenyan women must join mainstream networks, find right mentors, and seek demanding assignments. To broaden their access to power, Kenyan women must join co-educational and more mainstream networks, find right mentors, and seek demanding assignments. The GC is permeable but gains in education and access to professions have not translated into women achieving CEO positions in Kenyan banks.
The study results were germane to policy makers and organizational leaders in identifying growth barriers that lead women employees toward a glass ceiling.
To preserve credibility, innate biased perspectives, observations, and data interpretation were bracketed and interviews triangulated with documents review, field notes, and observations (Neuman, 2006).
Dissertation oral defense presentation
1Beyond the Glass Ceiling: APhenomenological Study of WomenManagers in the Kenyan BankingIndustryA Dissertation Presented in Partial Fulfillmentof the Requirements for the DegreeDoctor of Management in Organizational LeadershipTitle
Panel IntroductionsPamela Brown, Ph.D., MentorMichael E. Marrapodi, Ed.D., Committee MemberJoanne Kovacich, Ph.D., Committee MemberNaomi M. Mangatu, Doctoral Candidate2
Outline1. The problem statement2. The purpose of the study3. Theoretical framework4. Research method and design5. Research questions6. Population and sample7. Pilot study8. Data collection9. Findings10. Significance of findings to leadership11. Recommendations12. Questions3
4The Problem StatementDespite a seemingly remarkable progress oncareer advancement, women remainunderrepresented in the highest leadershippositions in Kenyan banks.
5Support for Problem Statement•Insufficient knowledge about the experiences of women inbank leadership in Kenya (Kiamba, 2008; Kobia, 2007).•Ineffectiveness of affirmative action plans and policies inKenya (ILO, 2007; United Nations, 2008; World Bank, 2005).•Exclusion of women from leadership roles impacts negativelyon productivity and militates against a diverse workforce (Noble& Moore, 2006).•Glass ceiling is costly in terms of turnover costs as qualifiedwomen leave organizations (Mathur-Helm, 2006).
6Purpose StatementThe purpose of the qualitative phenomenological study wasto explore the lived experiences and perceptions of 24women managers in Kenyan banks; to better understandthe factors they perceived to be contributors or barriers toadvancement to CEO positions.
7Theoretical Framework•Social role theory– gender determines what roles should be allocated to men andwomen (Dunn, 2007; Eagly, 2006).•Expectations state theory– structural conditions rooted in feminist theory are responsible forthe second class status accorded women by society (Gold,2008; Kalkhoff, & Thye, 2006).•Leadership categorization theory– equates certain personality traits and gender attributes withleadership qualities (Weyer, 2007; Hilton, 2007).
8Research Method & Design•The qualitative study applied a phenomenological design.– The seven-step modified van Kaam process (Moustakas, 1994)facilitated data analysis.•Choice of design was influenced by:– Inductive approach that emphasizes concern for the richness,texture, and feeling for the raw data collected (Neuman, 2006).•The qualitative method helped explain the how and why– A quantitative method would have merely generated frequencydistributions with no in-depth information (Creswell, 2004).
9Research QuestionsTwo central research questions guided the study:1. How do women in Kenyan banks perceive anddescribe their experiences of the glass ceiling?, and2. What strategies do women in senior and middlemanagement positions in Kenyan banks considernecessary for advancing and staying in the CEOposition?
10Target Population & Sample• Women employees in banksin Nairobi, Kenya.• Final sample was 24 womenwho shared commoncharacteristics such as:1. current employee of a bankbased in Nairobi2. at least 2 years experience inbanking3. be over the age of 18 years, and4. held senior manager or middlemanagement level positions
Reasons for Population Choice• Senior manager position marks the starting point for keydecision making in most banks (Cormier, 2007).– Senior managers are candidates for CEO positions successionplanning in many organizations (Chovwen, 2007).– As Head of Department, senior managers serve as role modelsto junior employees.• Most women in Kenyan banks tend to stagnate at themiddle and senior manager level positions (Kiamba,2008).11
Pilot Study• A pilot test was done with two women, (seniormanager & manager) to– test the procedures– give information about response unpredictability, and– test the flow of information prior to carrying out the fullstudy• The responses aided in evaluating eachresponse’s alignment with the researchquestions.13
Data Collection- Participants Selection• 48 purposively selected women receivedinvitation to participate.– Purposive sampling allowed the use of cases that have therequired information with respect to the subject of the study(Creswell, 2005).• 27 replies were received, 3 were declines.• Thus 24 women participated in the final study– 12 senior managers, and– 12 middle level managers14
Data Collection- -Interviews• Conducted a 45-60 minutes face to face interviewAt an off-site venue.•Interviewing process started with an ice-breaker•Interviews were digitally audio-recorded•Semi-structured open-ended questions allowed:• A flexible approach that allowed for collection of subjectiveviewpoints (Creswell, 2005) and a• A procedural description of lived experiences and perceptions ofrespondents (Creswell, 2004).• Follow-up questions to clarify and probe interesting responsesthat emerged (Creswell, 2005).•Verbatim data was manually transcribed immediately afterevery interview session.•Memoing & observations captured non-verbal communication.•Document review reinforced the participants’ verbal accountsand triangulated data.15
Data Management•Transcribed verbatim data were input into NVivo8software to allow for:• Free & tree coding• searching for specific words, and• Matrix querying•Nodes created two sets of attributes:– Phrases consistent with and supporting the existence of a GC(14,293 nodes; 93%).– Expressions that did not support the existence of a GC (9,134nodes; 7%).
Data Analysis• Applied the van Kaam 7-step process (Moustakas,1994)to achieve a systematic discovery of• Patterns• Themes• constructs, and• meanings in the participant’s responses (Creswell, 2004).• Constituents were sorted & arranged in descendingorder.• Highest 57 constituents referenced by at least 12participants (table 10) were clustered to form nine majorthemes.
van Kaam 7-step process(Full explanations on Pages 93-95 of dissertation)
20Findings cont…• Determined that in comparison to men of similar qualifications andexperience, few women are breaking through the glass ceiling into attain CEO positions in Kenyan banks.• Social pressures and cultural norms continue to suppresswomen’s career advancement in Kenya.• Discovered that compared to men, women are held to higherexpectations for resilience and competence.• Kenyan career women are making concerted efforts to develop theirvalues beyond the academic, intellectual, and professionalcapabilities.• Informal social networks are essential sources of corporate powerin Kenya.
21Significance of Findings•Facilitates more understanding why women are notadvancing as fast as men in Kenyan banks.•Contributes to the body of literature– fills the knowledge gap about GC experiences in Kenyanbanks.•Provides women with further information on steps totake and the pitfalls to avoid in career advancement (Lewis, 2006).
22Significance cont…•Better planning by policy makers… factors revealed may be vital in directing gender equity efforts torelevant areas.•Women CEOs may bring alternative leadership skills…and contribute in enhancing corporate governance within Kenyanbanks.•An environmental scanning tool by Leaders…to identify cultural and structural forces working against theirorganizations.•Performance Comparison– Kenyan bank leaders may weigh performance against otherorganizations with women in decision-making.
Limitations/Delimitations• Geographic area was the metropolitan city of Nairobi, limiting datainfluenced by rural settings.• Study method may have left room for personal influence and bias– Both researcher & participants.• In a few instances, some participants allocated inadequate time forthe interviews.• The unique experiences of the 24 participants might not representall methods available to senior women in banking to overcome theGC barriers.• The findings may not be transferable to other situations or cases(Neuman, 2006).• Lack of male data for comparison limited the study findings as onlywomen in senior manager and manager positions participated.23
Recommendations• The Kenyan government should re-evaluate policies andapproach to gender issues.• Kenyan women banker’s ability to understand theindustry’s structural dimensions of power is crucial.• Kenyan banks should enact, implement, & enforcepolicies to support women’s dual responsibilities.• Importance for Kenyan women in banking to seek publicvisibility and assertiveness.24
Recommendations cont…• Need for women to customize their leadership styles tothe Kenyan banking environment.• Women should join and make time for formal andinformal career-related non-gender specific networks.• Kenyan Media Houses and research firms shouldspearhead gender equity by highlighting the best andworst banks for women to work for.• Kenyan society should recognize and accept thechanging status where the educated career woman ismaking bold moves to deal with sexism.• Bank’s clients are not homogeneous, hence Kenyanbanks should diversify their workforce by having womenCEOs.
Questions?26Thank You all so much for yourattention!
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