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The Experience of Academic Leaders in Navigating Leadership Labyrinth in Saudi Higher Education

Sat, April 10, 4:10 to 5:40pm EDT (4:10 to 5:40pm EDT), SIG Sessions, SIG-Research on Women and Education Paper and Symposium Sessions


The transformation of women’s roles in Saudi Arabia over the past decade has seen females occupying more leadership positions in the public sphere. However, in higher education, females are still underrepresented in top leadership positions in Saudi Arabia. The path of leadership for females is described globally as a ‘labyrinth’, a metaphor that depicts females’ journeys as cumbersome and full of twists and turns (Eagly & Carli, 2007). Academic female leaders face a multitude of barriers that hinder their ascension to leadership positions. This paper focuses on the societal, organizational, and professional barriers and opportunities throughout Saudi female leaders’ journey. An analytical model knowledge, skills, behaviours (K.S.B.) is proposed for navigating Saudi Arabia’s female labyrinth of leadership.