Cultural Barriers to Women Leadership Roles in Sierra Leone

Introduction

Women participation in leadership and politics has been characterized by various barriers and challenges across the world despite the current shift from the traditional work environments and leadership standards to the nontraditional workplace practices and leadership. The current changes in leadership styles and the shift to nontraditional transformational leadership approaches have been implemented in various organizations including political organizations to help such organizations adapt to the constantly changing environments (Majiet & Africa, 2015). However, despite such significant shifts to the nontraditional and transformational leadership styles, women across the world, taking to account, women from Sierra Leone often face several barriers and challenges that restrict their participation in leadership roles. The barriers and challenges discourage the women from developing and advancing their leadership by limiting their access to the various leadership opportunities that could provide important foundation for the women to develop and advance their leadership skills (Majiet & Africa, 2015). Different barriers and challenges such as interpersonal dynamics, individual struggles, corporate barriers, and cultural barriers have always prevented women from obtaining leadership roles across the world. The main aim of this study is to conduct systematic review to examine the cultural barriers that prevent women from obtaining leadership roles in Sierra Leone.

Theoretical Framework

Most of the previous studies on women in leadership positions in Sierra Leone have mainly been focusing on the reasons why women often encounter various challenges while trying to enter leadership roles (Yabusaki, n.d). However, limited studies have been used to investigate why the number of women in leadership declines in the higher management and leadership positions. According to Majiet and Africa (2015), the number of women in leadership positions declines as one moves to the top positions since women experience invisible barriers that prevent them from advancing to the next leadership level. Majiet and Africa (2015) emphasize that women have not given ample opportunities to advance their leadership skills and abilities in Sierra Leone yet the gender has the important characteristics, abilities, and skills that are essential to lead organizations including the political organizations. Moreover, women are not given assignments to advance their leadership potentials. Therefore, it would be necessary to focus the research efforts on enhancing growth and development of women leadership roles (Majiet & Africa, 2015).

On the other hand, according to Yoder (2020), women in Sierra Leone hold approximately 20% and 35% of the senior management and all management positions respectively.  Yoder (2020) also found out that the number of women in top leadership positions such as CEO has increased to about 25 in 2020 from 20 in 2015. Even though the findings indicate that there have been significant progresses in women participation in leadership roles in Sierra Leone, such progresses have been slow. Yoder (2020) also found out that the number of educated women who have obtained graduate degrees has almost tripled over the last twenty years. Therefore, the theoretical motivation of conducting the study is to understand the reason why women thrive to enter the top leadership positions yet they are ambitious, committed, and educated.

Research Questions

  1. What are the cultural barriers that prevent women from obtaining leadership roles in Sierra Leone?
  2. What are the relationships between culture and women participation in leadership in Sierra Leone?
  3. What are the relationships between women labor participation and women leadership participation in Sierra Leone?

Rationale/ Importance of the Study

Proper women involvement in leadership positions, including the senior positions is vital for the growth and development of every economy. For example, women participation in leadership roles in the United States has positively altered the outlook of the country’s economy (Yabusaki, n.d). Therefore, understanding the importance of women participation in leadership roles in Sierra Leone would help the country to grow its economy by increasing the number of women in the country’s senior leadership positions. Examining and understanding the cultural barriers that prevent women participation in leadership in Sierra Leone would be necessary to help the country to shift their focus towards maximizing the leadership outputs from women (Yabusaki, n.d). Such changes would be vital for the growth of the economy and sudden positive changes in societal leadership and progress.

Methodology

Research Approach and Design

The study will use systematic literature review to investigate the cultural barriers that prevent women from obtaining leadership roles in Sierra Leone. The researcher has chosen systematic literature review since the approach is fundamental for conducting evidence-based research that involves proper location, appraisal, synthesis and provision of reports regarding the best findings (Yoder, 2020). Moreover, systematic literature review is more scientific, transparent, and replicable research approach for answering the research questions than the primary research approaches. Therefore, the researcher is planning to apply the systematic literature review approach by creating the systematic framework for tracking, analyzing, and determining the values of the previous studies concerning the proposed research questions.

Literature Search

The researcher will search for studies that are related to the cultural barriers that women face in attempt to obtain leadership positions in Sierra Leone. The researcher will search the primary sources for the proposed systematic review from the university library. The researcher will also retrieve materials from the various databases such as Google Scholar, ERIC, JSTOR, PsycINFO (Psychology), academic search complete, and business search complete. On the other hand, the list of terms that will be used for the literature search include; female, women, leaders, gender, female leaders, women leadership, limitations for female leadership, cultural barriers for female leadership, career development, barriers, challenges, women workers, feminism, working conditions, obstacles, and career development among women leaders. The searched articles will be briefly browsed to examine the relevance of the found articles to the research topic. The researcher will carefully analyze the relevant articles in order to determine the cultural barriers that prevent women from obtaining leadership roles in Sierra Leone. The researcher would use some of the relevant articles for background information on the selected topic of study.

Data Collection and Evaluation. The data collected will be recorded in two systematic frameworks. The first framework will be labelled Appendix A that will provide the synopsis of the collected data indicating the article, author(s), publication year, title of the article, main purpose of the study, research methods/design, summarized synopsis, and database used. Therefore, the first framework will be necessary for tracking and controlling the articles log used in the systematic literature review. The second framework labelled B will be used to record the findings of the obtained articles. Therefore, the second framework will be necessary for determining the common trends and themes concerning the cultural barriers that prevent women from obtaining leadership roles in Sierra Leone. Compiling the first and second frameworks will provide vital framework for analyzing and understanding the cultural barriers that prevent women from obtaining leadership roles in Sierra Leone.

Inclusion criteria

The articles that will be used for the proposed study on the cultural barriers that prevent women from obtaining leadership roles in Sierra Leone must meet the following inclusion criteria:

Exclusion Criteria

The obtained articles with the following features will be excluded for this proposed systematic literature review study on the cultural barriers that prevent women from obtaining leadership roles in Sierra Leone.

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