Perceptions of Gender Discrimination in the Health Sciences Among Female Leaders at a US Research University Open Access

Tsoka, Rashida (Spring 2019)

Permanent URL:


The #MeToo movement was accompanied with growing media attention surrounding the rising number of public allegations of faculty-related misconduct in academia. This has prompted further attention into an existing norm of gender discrimination for many female faculty members and the sexual harassment and assault they endure within male dominated fields such as the health sciences. Fourteen key informant interviews were conducted among faculty from a private research university. Participants positions ranged from university-level leaders to executive-level leaders from the Schools of Nursing, Public Health, Medicine, and the College of Arts and Sciences. From their perspective, the study explores their perceptions of and experiences with institutional programs intended to address gender inequities experienced by female faculty working in academia. Participants described various barriers to leadership opportunities and professional advancement through the pervasive presence of “boys will be boys” attitudes within colleagues and administrators and the policies that are practiced nominally for compliance reasons or misused and further disadvantage women. However, participants also discussed the practices they employ informally to navigate patriarchic systems through mentorships and women-only spaces and using their leadership positions as platforms to help each other. The findings of this

study may serve to inform academic institutions of ways they may minimize gender discrimination and lead progressive cultural change both inside and outside of higher education.

Table of Contents

Abstract iv

Acknowledgements. vi

Chapter One: Introduction. 1

Chapter Two: Comprehensive Literature Review.. 6

Gender Parity in Academic Leadership. 6

Employment Trends. 9

Workplace Culture. 13

Importance of Diversity in Academia. 17

Chapter Three: Manuscript. 20

Introduction. 24

Methods. 26

Results. 28

Discussion. 36

Figure 1: Thematic Map. 37

Table 1: Summary of Findings. 38

Manuscript References. 38

Chapter Four: Public Health Implications. 40

References 41

About this Master's Thesis

Rights statement
  • Permission granted by the author to include this thesis or dissertation in this repository. All rights reserved by the author. Please contact the author for information regarding the reproduction and use of this thesis or dissertation.
  • English
Research Field
Committee Chair / Thesis Advisor
Last modified

Primary PDF

Supplemental Files