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A CRITICAL EXAMINATION ON GENDER DIVERSITY IN CORPORATE LEADERSHIP: A CASE STUDY OF CAMEROONIAN COMPANIES

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A CRITICAL EXAMINATION ON GENDER DIVERSITY IN CORPORATE LEADERSHIP: A CASE STUDY OF CAMEROONIAN COMPANIES

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

In organizations, holding a leadership role is commonly perceived as a responsibility involving the establishment of objectives for both individuals and groups within the organization. The leaders are tasked with addressing the challenges confronted by the organization, concurrently navigating the present circumstances and envisioning future tasks (Cook, 2018). Those in leadership positions often ascend to the highest levels of administrative and executive roles owing to their adeptness in managing current situations while maintaining a focus on forthcoming responsibilities (SEU, 2018). This role necessitates the ability to cater to the diverse needs of individuals collaborating towards a common goal. However, globally, this position is predominantly occupied by individuals of one gender (men), and the other gender (women) is notably underrepresented in such leadership roles. Although men have historically held positions of leadership, it is imperative that the status of both men and women be taken into account in a tridimensional Sustainable Development (SD) approach due to the poor economic and social standing of women. For instance, women in Bangladesh have experienced marginalization, unfair treatment, and an underestimation of their importance in most communities within the last 10 years. The lack of women's participation in SD prevents it from happening, leaving them vulnerable to their low social and economic status in society, particularly in developing and underdeveloped nations (Chowdhury & Dewan, 2019). As a result, women's participation in SD must increase. These gender gaps in this nations are as a result of unequal access to opportunities between both gender and gender gaps can be seen in most communities in areas of education, politics, cultures, payment, recruitment and leadership, just to name a few. But most often in organisations, the gender gap is mostly persisting in employee’s payrolls and leadership positions. According to Hennig & Jardim (2019), they assumed that the ability for men and women to carry out responsible jobs in organisations are slightly different even thou, women do possess the appropriate job qualification for the task, but they still remain liable to discrimination.

Therefore, a survey will be conducted in order to  critically examine on gender diversity in corporate leadership: a case study of Cameroonian companies.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The exploration of gender dynamics in organizational leadership was largely neglected in social psychology for many years, primarily due to a lack of interest. It wasn't until around the 1970s that issues related to gender in leadership began to capture attention and gain traction among writers in the popular press, who began discussing the inherent marginalization of women in leadership roles (Hoyt, 2020). Additionally, Arum (2021) conducted a study to investigate whether sex differences and a gender gap exist in organizational leadership positions. The findings revealed that these differences could be observed from both a relationship-based and task-based perspective. The study highlighted that the historical prevalence of men in leadership roles has contributed to perceptions that they are inherently more effective leaders.Genders of people are socially contracted differences that exist in communities leading to gender inequality and unequal rights (Georgina, 2018). WHO perceive gender as attributes, activities, behavior and roles a society will consider appropriate for men and women. But these roles and behaviours cause differences in communities that turn to favour only one group of gender over the other in wealth, political appointment, access to quality education and incentives. In a recent survey on public opinion conducted in America, it was revealed that 35% of employees in organizations expressed a preference for a male supervisor, while 23% favored a female supervisor. A significant portion, 41%, remained neutral with no specific preference during the 90s. However, when the same research was carried out in the 20th century, 66% of employees preferred a male supervisor, and only 5% favored a female leader (Newport & Wilke, 2021). Despite some stability in these percentages in recent years, a closer examination of male and female bosses in organizations by Newport & Wilke showed that a majority of workers did not express a strong preference for one gender over the other, suggesting an increasing acceptance of women as leaders. Upon further analysis, it was surprising to find that 40% of female workers preferred a male leader, whereas only 29% of men preferred a male as their leader. This indicates that a significant number of women may not prefer to be led by a female, and similarly, a considerable portion of men may not prefer a male leader in the organization. These nuanced preferences shed light on the complex dynamics of gender perceptions in leadership roles. It is in the light of these that the study seeks to critically examine on gender diversity in corporate leadership: a case study of Cameroonian companies.

1.3  Objectives of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to critically examine on gender diversity in corporate leadership: a case study of Cameroonian companies. Specifically, the study will;

1.Determine the extent to which Cameroonian companies core values align with the principles of gender diversity.

2.Identify factors influencing gender diversity in corporate leadership

3.Examine the correlation between gender diversity and corporate leadership.

4.Investigate the impact of  gender diversity on leadership styles of Cameroonian companies

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared for the study:

1.To what extent do the core values of Cameroonian companies align with the principles of gender diversity?

2.What are the factors influencing gender diversity within corporate leadership in Cameroon?

3.How can the correlation between gender diversity and corporate leadership in Cameroon be examined?

4.What is the impact of gender diversity on the leadership styles of Cameroonian companies?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

H0: There is no significant relationship between gender diversity and corporate leadership in Cameroon .

HA: There is a significant relationship between gender diversity and corporate leadership in Cameroon .

1.6  Significance of the Study

Social psychology has evolved into an empirically based knowledge of leadership as a result of social psychologists' widespread interest in leadership-related topics. When it was first developed, leadership was a topic that required study in many academic fields. As the field grew, scientists continued to be interested in leadership and in subjects that were essential to leadership processes. However, the findings of this study will be revealed to government at various levels, stakeholders, NGOs, banking sectors, policymakers, media houses and  companies in this study.  It will enable the government reinforce laws that protect human rights especially the rights of women in organizations so that gender discrimination in organizational management will be eradicated.Furthermore,  will positively portray the organization to the public and shine a light on its strengths, attracting more female job applicants with the necessary skills who may have been discouraged from applying due to the organization's perceived gender imbalance. The best candidates with the necessary skills will be hired without taking into account their gender. Also, subsequent researchers will use it as a literature review. Invariably, the result of the study contributes immensely to the body of academic knowledge with regard to a critical examination on gender diversity in corporate leadership: a case study of Cameroonian companies

1.7 Scope of the study

The scope of this study is boarded on a critical examination on gender diversity in corporate leadership: a case study of Cameroonian companies. Theoretically, this study will determine the extent to which Cameroonian companies core values align with the principles of gender diversity, identify factors influencing gender diversity in corporate leadership, examine the correlation between gender diversity and corporate leadership and investigate the impact of  gender diversity on leadership styles of Cameroonian companies. Geographically, the study will be delimited to staff of Orange Cameroon.

1.8 Limitation of the study

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents. In addition, there was the element of researcher bias. Here, the researcher possessed some biases that may have been reflected in the way the data was collected, the type of people interviewed or sampled, and how the data gathered was interpreted thereafter. The potential for all this to influence the findings and conclusions could not be downplayed.

More so, the findings of this study are limited to the sample population in the study area, hence they may not be suitable for use in comparison to other schools, local governments, states, and other countries in the world.

1.9 Definition Of Terms

Organization: Is a combination of individual effort in pursuit of certain common purpose (John  2018).

Leadership: is how the leader communicates in general and relates to people, the way in which the leader motivates and trains the subordinates and the way leaders provide direction to his/her team.

Gender Diversity: refers to the extent to which a person's gender identity, role, or expression differs from the cultural norms prescribed for people of a particular sex.

Management: Is the art of getting things done through others.


This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research



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