Encouragement, found in discouragement

As a scholar and practitioner, this week has presented me with a world of new terms and ideas to build my understanding of the world around me more comprehensively.

I enjoyed this week’s assignment, although in no way am I undermining the complexity and depth of pulling together the research. Besides, my computer sits a journal for notes in passing, valuable information I want to study on my off days. This week my journal page is full of new terms, theories, books, and conceptualizations I hope to build on, understand in greater depth, or incorporate into my own studies.

I am not going to lie but studying women in leadership does very little to encourage my academic journey or impress me. I find it funny because female self-esteem is often cited for why we cannot lead efficiently, but where am I to find any when academically I am still reported as second to man – if not in science anymore, still in opinion. I was honestly surprised that this topic feels so personal that it feels unprofessional and feels wrong.

After reading all the gains women have made, I still feel sick to my stomach.

How can I impress my equality and demand inclusion to professional careers when it appears I am being set back by societal stereotypes that have long hindered my gender? Personally, I use it as fuel to my work- to work harder, study longer, become indisputably great… however in the back of my mind, I am reminded that when considering the findings of Heilman &Haynes (2005), whose research reported that working together with men in traditionally male domains can be “detrimental for women–even when the work outcome is highly favorable” (p. 914), but not always.

What I can say is this week, I will be looking into evolving my current dissertation study- I have identified a new gap, one where I have extensive research already developed. I think I found the topic area that will bring together both studies and satisfy my curiosity for my program's duration, at least.

The ability to find encouragement through discouragement should be a true mark of leadership.—Constance Quigley.


Heilman, M. E., & Haynes, M. C. (2005). No credit where credit is due: Attributional rationalization of women’s success in male-female teams. Journal of Applied Psychology, 90(5), 905-916. 10.1037/0021-9010.90.5.905

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