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Women And Leadership: Preparing (Female) Students For The Leadership Challenge

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Culture, Society, and Co-op

Tagged Division

Cooperative & Experiential Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.1378.1 - 15.1378.11



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Paper Authors

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Ralph Ocon Purdue University Calumet

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Opal McFarlane Purdue University Calumet

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Women and Leadership: Preparing (Women) Students For the Leadership Challenge


The workplace can provide many career opportunities and challenges for graduating students. While pursuing their careers, many engineering and technology students will perform roles that are outside their principal academic field of study. In addition to having to deal with career issues related to global competition and technological change, an additional concern students are likely to encounter is leadership development. The recent global recession has highlighted the need for students to develop leadership skills for successful careers.

In today’s competitive and dynamic economy, quality leadership is an integral component for not only career success, but also organizational success. Leaders are the principal problem solvers and decision makers, and can have a significant impact on the success of every organization in every industry. As future leaders of business organizations, it’s important for students to have an understanding of the leadership roles they will perform in the workplace.

Recognizing the future leadership roles of students, it’s essential that they have an understanding of the various leadership situations they may encounter in the workplace. For success in these supervisory roles, students must develop leadership skills in order to effectively respond to different supervisory situations. Fortunately, faculty can facilitate the development of leadership skills for students.

Additionally, as the number of female engineering and technology students entering the workforce increase, they will also be confronted with the responsibility of performing leadership roles. As the paper will explain, women supervisors face additional challenges that influence how they should respond to various situations. The paper will provide ideas on how engineering and technology faculty can incorporate leadership concerns into their courses to help prepare students, especially female students, for leadership responsibilities in the 21st century workplace. The paper will focus on helping students become aware of common supervisory situations they may encounter in the workplace. To help prepare students for their future careers, the paper will identify strategies students can use to deal with different supervisory situations, with emphasis on women supervisory concerns.


Lean manufacturing, corporate downsizing, offshore outsourcing, technological innovation and global competition are some of the career challenges confronting today’s graduates. To effectively deal with these challenges, students will need to develop their leadership skills 1. Although many engineering and technology programs do an excellent

Ocon, R., & McFarlane, O. (2010, June), Women And Leadership: Preparing (Female) Students For The Leadership Challenge Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--15986

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