Papers & Workshops



Gender and Group Leadership: The Effect on Performance


Constance Zulu

University of North West, Mmabatho, South Africa

Academic transformation in Higher Education would not be complete without consideration of gender equity. For years, women academics in general have been under-represented in positions of leadership in higher education in South Africa and female students in particular seem to have been grossly under-represented in many aspects of student leadership. For instance, leadership in student representative councils and other student formations is often left to male students. The literature indicates that even some learning strategies predominantly employed in higher education tend to be unfavourable to female students. For example, the lecture method is believed to encourage competitive learning, where naturally male students seem to excel. So, not only are female students under represented in positions of leadership, but they are also disfavoured by learning strategies which predominate in higher education classrooms. This paper presents a preliminary survey of the views of male and female students in an English and Academic Skills(EAS) for Law class on leadership preference. It also explores the view that women tend to function better in co-operative group work situations.
  Presentation Format: 45 min. paper

RMIT, Melbourne, Australia

5-9 July 2000