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Support from senior women is essential to increase the number of women leaders

Research by LSE student informs new book on coaching women to lead

leadershipSupport from senior women is essential if the number of women leaders is to be increased. This is one of findings from research by LSE Masters' student, Janna Walvoort.

The research, conducted for an MSc in Organisational and Social Psychology at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in collaboration with Averil Leimon of White Water Strategies, is cited in a new book Coaching Women to Lead.

Coaching Women to Lead by Averil Leimon, François Moscovici and Helen Goodier asks why there is still such a disparity in the number of women filling leadership roles, compared with men. It argues that a specific coaching approach for women is not only possible but required to support women throughout their corporate career.

Janna's work is used to inform the chapter 'What do women want? Reporting the results of our research'.

As part of her MSc, Janna Walvoort conducted a literature review and identified the main barriers to women's advancements in organisations. Eight coping strategies that are commonly used to overcome these barriers were identified. She then developed a questionnaire with Averil Leimon to test how effective these coping strategies were.

Her findings showed that although all eight strategies (family and career balance; understanding corporate culture; systematic investment in career and development; confidence; knowledge of own strengths; networking; role models; and career planning) are important at all career stages, four strategies stood out as being particularly significant to helping the women surveyed progress with their careers: networking, role models, confidence and knowledge of strengths.

The women surveyed also highlighted the importance of support from senior women is essential to increase the number of women leaders.

The authors write: 'Janna Walvoort of the London School of Economics worked with us to design, conduct and analyse our research. We are so very grateful for her patience, tenacity and intelligence in turning our first drafts into an excellent piece of research.'

Janna Walvoort's supervisor, Dr Claudine Provencher of the Department of Social Psychology at LSE, said: 'Janna Walvoort's MSc dissertation on 'Overcoming Barriers in Female Career Progression: the importance of strategies and social or individual learning' is a perfect example of the quality and significance of some of the work produced by our students here at the Department of Social Psychology. Thanks to her ability to conduct a thorough review of the relevant literature, the identification of relevant research question and a very careful and well-executed methodology, Janna produced a piece of work which not only earned a distinction but provided the basis for a chapter published in a "real-life" book.'

For a copy of the book click here.


Contact: Jess Winterstein, Press Office, 020 7107 5025, j.winterstein@lse.ac.uk