Ethel Craft head shot Ethel Craft

Ethel Craft is a Doctoral Candidate in the Business Administration program. Witnessing the struggles of women in leadership roles within the City of Ottawa led her to pursue research on the advancement of women in provincial politics in Ontario. She is looking forward to learning more about how women navigate any barriers encountered at various stages in their political careers. Completing her Doctorate in a virtual environment has provided Ethel with the flexibility to continue working while raising her family.

Title: Advancing Women in Political Leadership

Abstract: Women possess leadership characteristics which make them successful in a leadership role. However, women’s leadership roles in politics continue to encounter biases as society perceives the role of women to be incongruent with leadership. Although there was an increase in women politicians since gender parity occurred in November 2015, social, cultural, and financial barriers continue to exist, identifying several recurring themes such as stereotyping, and challenges with maintaining work-life balance. The purpose of this study is to build on prior research and explore the factors that have contributed to the advancement of women in provincial politics in Ontario. A qualitative method consisting of semi-structured interviews is used to gain insight into not only the barriers that women political leaders continue to face but also the specific strategies undertaken to counter them. The population for this research consists of former and current Members of Provincial Parliament within Ontario who served as a political leader during the timeframe 2011 to 2022. This research will adopt a purposeful sampling approach to learn how women navigate barriers encountered at various stages in their political career, including as a candidate, during their time as a Member of Provincial Parliament, or in subsequent formal leadership roles. This study is expected to add to the current knowledge on both women and politics and women in leadership by presenting a greater awareness of how women overcome barriers to their participation in political leadership roles


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