Exploring characteristics that prevent the derailment of women leaders

Michelle Nobre, Jos Coetzee, Marietjie van der Walt, Wilfred I. Ukpere

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The number of women in senior leadership positions globally remains inequitable with recent statistics showing that female directors make up a mere 16 % of company boards across the European Union, 20% of senior executives in U.S. companies, and 19.1% of top and 28.2 % of senior managers in South African companies. This article provides greater understanding of why some women succeed in these positions whilst others have their careers derail. Whilst taking cognisance of exiting research on leadership derailment, this article explores the personal construct systems of leaders who have avoided or overcome derailment. This aims to facilitate a greater appreciation of the role of intrinsic characteristics of women leaders, thereby creating a more integrated and holistic understanding of leadership derailment. This article further aims to extend the traditional definition of leadership derailment to include the experiences of women leaders who have avoided or overcome derailment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)729-742
Number of pages14
JournalMediterranean Journal of Social Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


  • Core construct
  • Derailment
  • Personal construct
  • Personal construct system
  • Personal construct theory
  • Women leaders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Exploring characteristics that prevent the derailment of women leaders'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this