Latina Administrators' Ways of Leadership: Preparando Chicanas
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The purpose of this study was to 1) identify the pathways and strategies by which Latina administrators reach their positions within student affairs, 2) examine how the intersection of gender and ethnicity influence their leadership and 3) describe their leadership styles utilizing traditional models, or something unique to Latinas. As the number of Latinas enrolling in higher education continues to rise and outweigh those of their male counterparts, this knowledge can help inform current student affairs administrators about ways to recruit and increase the pipeline of Latinas prepared to assume administrative positions within higher education, particularly in student affairs. A naturalistic inquiry research method was employed utilizing both a feminist and Chicana feminist lens. The author interviewed 12 Mexican American women in the state of Texas who were employed at both public and private four-year institutions in the division of student affairs. Their positions ranged from that of Director to Vice President. Family and personal influences, education, university environment and external influences were identified as factors leading these administrators to their positions. Both gender and ethnicity were intertwined in who they are and how they lead. Components of the leadership styles employed by the women studied included those of constructed knowledge for effective leadership. Additionally, these women’s Latinidad shaped their leadership styles, operating from a collectivist orientation as experienced in the typical Chicana/o family versus an individualistic orientation typically espoused in an Anglo family. As our campuses experience Latino students enrolling in greater numbers, particularly women, it is important to ensure suitable numbers of Latina administrators who are able to advocate for these students.
Lopez, Michelle Marie (2013). Latina Administrators' Ways of Leadership: Preparando Chicanas. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from