Date Available


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Year of Publication


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Educational Policy Studies and Eval

First Advisor

Dr. Jane Jensen


While research has grown related to the experiences of gender and leadership in the workplace, little research exists on the experiences of gender and leadership in collegiate student organization settings. This study explores the experiences of college women holding executive leadership roles in highly visible on-campus registered student organizations. More specifically, the study seeks understanding of how social role expectancies interfaced with the women’s perceptions and experiences as college leaders.

Data were generated with undergraduate women leaders at a large, public research institution in the southeast during the fall of 2014 using qualitative methods including individual interviews, group interviews, and organizational artifact analysis.

Findings suggest that student participants showed personal strength in pursuing the role of leader, a strong sense of responsibility to create organizational change alongside their memberships, and multiple challenges with gendered expectations, perceived need for perfection, and a double bind, created when a person acts in discord with the expected social behaviors based on sex.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)