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ScholarOne - The Year I Found My Voice: The Impact of a Transformational Women’s Leadership Development Program on Communicating with Confidence
  • Tessie H H Herbst,
  • Therese Roux,
  • Vinessa Naidoo
Tessie H H Herbst
Tshwane University of Technology

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Therese Roux
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Vinessa Naidoo
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Women-only leadership development program are crucial in addressing the global gender gap on senior management levels. Yet, there is a paucity of research related to the impact of these programs. This study explores the impact of a transformational women’s development program on the self-confidence of female academics in a higher education institution in South Africa. This was addressed in this mixed method study via a quantitative component to determine whether there is a significant difference in women leaders’ ability to communicate with confidence and a subsequent qualitative component offering insights on their experiences in the process of learning new behaviour patterns. The quantitative findings suggest that the program had a significant effect on the three Communicating with Confidence constructs measured namely, point of view, presence, and preparation, and as such, was effective in fostering transformational change. The qualitative component demonstrated how the women leaders in the program experienced the process of learning new behaviour patterns in four phases of transformational learning moving from i) Encountering a disorienting dilemma, ii) Meaning making, iii) Achievement of Transformational insight and iv) Connecting insight to leadership practice. Recommendations for future research and guidance to effectively develop, evaluate, and implement leadership programs for women in higher education are presented. It, therefore, makes a valuable contribution to women-only research in the field of leadership development.