End of Year Report

When I first started working on this research project I was a little scared. It was my first time working on a long term project that was not a class requirement but rather a project that genuinely interested me and for which I had to take initiative, as there was so syllabus to follow. At the beginning it was definitely overwhelming. There was so much to read, to highlight and I had to use my judgement to separate relevant information and synthesize it. This project helped me to start prioritizing task and to allocate my time effectively. Not only I was able to apply time management skills to this project, but I was able to translate that new system of creating a timeline for myself and tracking my own progress into my everyday life, especially when it came about planning and working on big and time consuming class-related projects. This project also helped me to take constructive feedback in order to better myself and learn from my mistakes. When writing the literature review, having Dr. Zaslow to provide guidance and review my work was a huge part of my learning process.

When it came about problem-solving, my faculty mentor and I tend to express our points of view and then settle as to what would work best for both of us. As mentioned before, it was my first time doing research and Dr. Zaslow is always making sure that I feel comfortable and ready to take the next step and move further into the process. I do appreciate that she discusses all matters with me (such as to how we should categorize information), because it doesn’t make me feel like a research assistant but as a researcher. We pretty much work on every step together but we also like to divide up work if it is more efficient, making communication key in the process. I do believe that there was an equal amount of initiative taken on both sides.Communication with my faculty mentor is easy.  Most of the time it is through email. She does email me back within 24 hrs and I try to do the same as well. I also created a separate folder in my email that is dedicated for emails related to the research only. It helps me keep track of what needs to be done and which emails I have to respond to.

Research summary/introduction:

Despite gains in the number of women serving in the workforce and entering leadership positions, women continue to occupy only a small fraction of the top leadership positions in government and the corporate world. The social, political, cultural, and economic barriers  to young women’s participation in leadership are multifaceted and overlapping. Analyzing research on undergraduate leadership programs (especially those for women) and identifying best practices implemented at colleges and universities across the country can provide us with the first step into providing women with equal leadership opportunities through the development of their leadership identity. As leaders, women face multiple double binds that are rooted in gender role expectations and stereotypes. In this paper, we explore the internal and external barriers that women in leadership face as well as the importance of Women only leadership programs that address the needs of women. We also explore the impact that mentoring, safe spaces, networking and meaningful involvement have on Women’s leadership development.


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