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What influences women’s participation in political leadership?


A recent article in Leadership Quarterly examines what variables result in the emergence of women political leaders. Whether or not women in a given country hold positions of leadership obviously depends on a host of factors. But no one ever took on the huge project of studying those factors worldwide until Amanda Bullough ’08, then a doctoral student at FIU, made that the subject of her dissertation.

Bullough, who earned her Ph.D. in management and international business and is now an assistant professor at Thunderbird University, studied the various factors that affect women’s participation in politics and business around the world.

The FIU alumna and her team looked at countries during the years 2002 to 2007. They analyzed the business environment, societal development, economics, technology and physical infrastructure, as well as political climate and culture.

“We found that public spending on education is a society’s first line of defense to begin equalizing opportunities for men and women early on,” says Bullough in the report. “As women become more educated, they become exposed to new ideas and find greater independence from new skills sets, which present more options beyond home and family.”

Read more on the Center for Leadership website.