Women and Leadership


    General Information

    Professor Information

    Professor Photo
    Dr. Asia A. Eaton, Ph.D
    DM 208 (MMC)
    By Appointment
    Please use Blackboard course messages

    My name is Dr. Asia Eaton and I will be your instructor for this fully online course. I am excited about the opportunity to work with you this semester.

    Teaching Assistant: Edward Sullivan
    Email: Please use Blackboard course messages

    Course Description And Purpose

    Over the last 100 years, women have made tremendous strides in the ability to shape their destinies. Today women are represented in all sectors of society, at all levels of organizations, and they are taking on important leadership roles in these settings. Historically, however, women have had less access to leadership positions than men, first because of iron barriers and later because of the proverbial “glass ceiling.” This history continues to be an important aspect of life in organizations and for women in particular. This class will examine the personal, social, and structural dynamics that differentially affect women and men as leaders, particularly in terms of how they are viewed, how their contributions are evaluated, and what kinds of opportunities are available to them.  Topics that will be addressed include how gender and leadership are constructed, the leadership styles of men and women, gender and leadership in the workplace, the political sphere, and the global community, the legal history of women in the workplace, and how women succeed as leaders. In this class, students will also explore their own leadership attributes and develop an understanding of who they are as leaders in the context of these theories. This course is an elective for most majors, and fulfills a requirement for the Women's Studies major/certificate.

    Course Objectives

    1) The primary objective of this course is to begin to define and understand the unique challenges, constraints, and opportunities that face women today as they ascend to leadership positions in organizations. The issues have to do with the dynamics of power, authority, and influence, being different, managing multiple roles, and social expectations as they pertain to gender. We will explore these topics using theory, concepts, and findings from psychology and by applying these ideas to real world situations.

    • Methods for Assessing this Learning Objective: Group Wiki, Class Participation, Final Exam

    2) A secondary objective of the course is to allow students to reflect on their own experiences; to provoke them to think about their own assumptions and to help them develop their own perspective and leadership style. The purpose is not to provide students with a set of clear-cut tactics, but rather to expose them to the issues related to women in leadership and provide a basis for them to be aware, thoughtful, and confident members of organizations.

    • Methods for Assessing this Learning Objective: Personal Philosophy of Leadership Paper, Class Participation

    Important Information


    Please review the FIU's Policies webpage. The policies webpage contains essential information regarding guidelines relevant to all courses at FIU, as well as additional information about acceptable netiquette for online courses.

    Academic Misconduct

    Academic misconduct in any form is a very serious matter, and will not be tolerated in this class. The term academic misconduct includes (but is not limited to) the following acts: cheating on examinations, turning in another person’s work as your own, including another person’s words or ideas in your writing without crediting the source, or engaging in behaviors that prevent other students in the class from succeeding. Students who engage in academic misconduct will be sanctioned. Any student who is confused about the definitions of cheating or plagiarism should consult the Undergrad Academic Misconduct Definitions and Procedures.

    Technical Requirements & Skills

    One of the greatest barriers to taking an online course is a lack of basic computer literacy. By computer literacy we mean being able to manage and organize computer files efficiently, and learning to use your computer's operating system and software quickly and easily. Keep in mind that this is not a computer literacy course; but students enrolled in online courses are expected to have moderate proficiency using a computer. Please go to the "What's Required" webpage to find out more information on this subject.

    This course utilizes the following tools:

    1. Discussion Boards
    2. Turnitin
    3. Wiki
    4. Microsoft Word
    5. Respondus LockDown Browser

    Blackboard Learn

    This course will utilize Blackboard Learn to provide you with all course materials (PowerPoint slides, required readings, and handouts) including assignment instructions, your grades, and additional resource materials for this course. It is important that you become familiar with this software and check the course website on a regular basis because all important class updates and announcements will be posted on Blackboard. If you have never used Blackboard before, or if you want to find additional information about the software, I encourage you to attend the Blackboard training sessions available to students during the first week of classes and/or to take the Blackboard online tutorials. Please refer to for additional information.

    Please visit our Technical Requirements webpage for additional information.

    Accessibility And Accommodation

    Please visit our ADA Compliance webpage for information about accessibility involving the tools used in this course.

    Please visit Blackboard's Commitment Accessibility webpage for more information. 

    For additional assistance please contact FIU's Disability Resource Center.

    Disabled Student Policy

    The university provides individualized accommodations to students who have disabilities that may affect their ability to participate in course activities or to meet course requirements. Students with disabilities are encouraged to contact both me and the Disability Resource Center ( to discuss their individual needs, and the appropriate accommodations will be made. Make sure to contact me as early as possible, and absolutely before the first class exam; these conversations will be held in strict confidence.

    Course Prerequisites

    PSY 2012 or WST 3015


    Textbook Image
    Why So Slow? (Required)
    Virginia Valian
    MIT Press, 1999-01
    ISBN-10: 0262720310
    ISBN-13: 9780262720311
    Book Info. You may purchase your textbook online at the FIU Bookstore.
    Textbook Image
    Through the Labyrinth (Required)
    Alice Hendrickson Eagly, Linda Lorene Carli
    Harvard Business Press, 2007
    ISBN-10 1422116913
    ISBN-13 978-1422116913
    Book Info. You may purchase your textbook online at the FIU Bookstore.

    Additional Readings       

    All additional readings and class documents can be found on the blackboard website for this class at: Class updates, announcements, and changes will be posted on blackboard.

    Expectations Of This Course

    This is an online course, meaning that the course work will be conducted online. Expectations for performance in an online course are the same as for a traditional course; in fact, online courses require a degree of self-motivation, self-discipline, and technology skills that can make them more demanding for some students. In this class you will be required to read the assigned chapters and readings in their entirety, participate in online discussions with your classmates, collaborate on a group Wiki assignment, complete a Personal Philosophy of Leadership paper, and take a final exam. There will be supplemental material posted to help you gain mastery of the readings. This material may include PowerPoint presentations, polls, handouts, practice quizzes, and links to websites and articles. These resources will help you understand the material; however they are NOT a substitute for reading the assigned chapters in the required textbooks. The most important piece of advice is to check the course on a daily basis and ask questions if you are unsure about things.

    Students are expected to:

    • Sign the Course Agreement (this also gives you access to course materials)
    • Review the how to get started information located in the course content
    • Introduce yourself to the class during the first week by posting a self introduction in the appropriate discussion forum
    • Take the practice quiz to ensure that your computer is compatible with Blackboard
    • Interact online with instructor/s and peers
    • Review and follow the course calendar
    • Log in to the course multiple per week (ideally, every day)
    • Respond to discussion boards threads
    • Respond to messages within 1-2 days
    • Submit assignments by the corresponding deadline
    • Track your course progress by reviewing the My Grades section each week. If you have concerns about a grade you will contact Dr. Eaton within one week (7 days) of receiving the grade.

    The instructor will:

    • Log in to the course every day Monday-Friday
    • Respond to discussion boards, blogs and journal postings within 1-2 days
    • Respond to messages within 1-2 days
    • Grade discussion posts within one week and papers within 2-3 weeks of the paper deadline
    • Post announcements any time there is a change in the course or issue with the course

    Doing Well In This Course

    Online courses are special in that they require that students be highly self-motivated. All students are REQUIRED to regularly check their Blackboard Course Mail and the Discussion Forum area. Remember, your postings to the discussion board make up a significant portion of your grade.


    • Sign in to the course every day. Keep up to date with readings and posted lectures; these are the basis for exam and discussion questions.
    • Take notes of important concepts and findings in all readings.   
    • Handing assignments in on time and taking exams during the allotted period is key. Failure to do so will result in an automatic zero (0) for that assignment. There are no make-ups for assignments or exams unless formal documentation of personal illness or emergency can be provided.

    Course Detail

    Course Communication

    Communication in this course and with the Professor and TA will take place via Blackboard Messages.

    Messages is a private and secure text-based communication system which occurs within a course among its Course members. Users must log on to Blackboard to send, receive, or read messages. The Messages tool is located on the Course Menu, on the left side of the course webpage. It is recommended that students check their messages routinely to ensure up-to-date communication. 

    Visit our Writing Resources webpage for more information on professional writing and technical communication skills.

    Grading Overview

    Grades will be based on your Discussion Participation (30%), your Group Wiki (25%), and your Personal Philosophy of Leadership Paper (25%), Final Exam (20%)

    Discussion Participation = 30% of your final grade

    Class participation includes participation in the weekly online discussions. You must participate in 6/11 online discussions. Each discussion will be worth up to 5 points, for a total of up to 30 points.

    Discussion Participation (30%)

    Keep in mind that your discussion forum postings will likely be seen by other members of the course. Care should be taken when determining what to post.

    Class participation includes participation in the weekly online discussions. You must participate in 6/11 online discussions. Each discussion will be worth up to 5 points, for a total of up to 30 points. 

    Weekly Discussion Participation Instructions: Discussion participation is a very important component of this course. Your grade will be assessed by reviewing your responses to the weekly discussion questions for each week. There are 11 weekly discussions and you must complete at least 6 of them. Each discussion will be worth up to 5 points, for a total of up to 30 points. The deadline for responses is Sunday at 12:00pm (noon) of the same week. Late responses will not be graded. More instructions and an example of a good post can be found in the “Assignment Instructions” folder under “Assignment Dropbox”. 

    Your weekly postings will be graded based on your ability to answer the discussion question in a thoughtful and intelligent way. Keep in mind that these posts are meant to flow as dialogue between all students enrolled in the class. It is very important that you reference your readings in these weekly posts as just making a post does not guarantee points. Your grade for each post will be based on the QUALITY of your response. Hence, giving blanket “I agree/I disagree” answers will not be accepted. It is also important that you read at least some of the other student postings as the discussion forum is meant to serve as an open discussion between all students. I highly recommend reading previous posts so that you don’t write similar ideas. Part of the grading criteria includes the student’s ability to add value to the ongoing discussion via personal experiences or outside sources. Weekly postings should show your understanding and critical analysis of the week's readings and concepts- an endeavor that cannot be accomplished in one or two sentences. Again, simply posting your opinion will not guarantee you any points for the week so please make connections to the readings!

    Please be respectful of other students. Keep in mind that some of the information discussed in a course on women and gender may be sensitive to some students. You are free to express any opinions you have but please do so in a respectful, intelligible manner. Students who abuse this forum by making harassing, inappropriate or abusive comments will be removed and receive a zero (0) for the class. Likewise, if you notice any abuse on the forums please let me know.

    Grading Criteria for Discussion Posts:
    a) Clarity (1pts) – ideas are presented clearly and are easily understood
    b) References (1pt)– ties discussion posting to course readings
    c) Substance (2pts)–answers are presented in a thoughtful and intelligent manner; answers show that the student has read the course material and has tied the material to his or her own previous experiences/knowledge
    d) Thoroughness (1pt)- answers are complete; responses address all parts of the discussion question

    Group Wiki (25%)

    Wikis are websites that allow collaborative editing of content and structure by users. Users can create and edit pages quickly, while tracking changes and additions, allowing for effective collaboration between multiple writers. In this class, students will create Wikis on topics related to women and leadership through Blackboard in groups of 7-8 members. There are 9 Wiki topics that I have chosen, and all students must sign up for a group and topic by noon on Sunday, January 24th. On Sunday February 21st, rough drafts of each Wiki from each group will be made visible to all students, so students can see how their fellow groups are handling the assignment (this draft will not be graded). The final Wiki is due Sunday, March 6th, by noon, and is worth 25 points, or 25% of your final grade. All students in a group will receive the same grade. Detailed instructions on how to create a Wiki, including the need for a group leader, the number of words required from each member, the number of citations required, and other details can be found in Blackboard in the “Assignment Instructions” folder under “Assignment Dropbox.”

    Personal Philosophy Of Leadership Paper (25%)

    In this paper you will define what you think are the three most important concepts from this class and explain how each one will guide your own judgments and decisions moving forward, using a specific example. The Personal Philosophy of Leadership Paper is to be 3-4 pages, double-spaced, in Time New Roman 12-point font. The paper should include a references section and in-text citations in APA format. The Personal Philosophy of Leadership Paper is to be submitted via Turnitin through the Blackboard Course website by noon on Sunday, April 24th. More instructions, a grading rubric, and an example paper can be found in the “Assignment Instructions” folder under “Assignment Dropbox”.

    Please note that the following information only applies if your course requires the use of Turnitin to submit your assignments.

    • Review the detailed Turnitin Instructions on how to submit your assignments and how to review the Grademark comments (feedback) from your professor.

    Final Exam (20%)

    In order to mitigate any issues with your computer and online assessments, it is very important that you take the "Practice Quiz" from each computer you will be using to take your graded quizzes and exams. It is your responsibility to make sure your computer meets the minimum hardware requirements.

    Assessments in this course are not compatible with mobile devices and should not be taken through a mobile phone or a tablet. If you need further assistance please contact FIU Online Support Services.

    1) There will be one final exam online worth 20 points, or 20% of your final grade. It will include 40 multiple choice and true/false questions, each worth .5 points, and will be one hour long. The exam questions can be taken from any lecture or reading throughout the class, so the exam is cumulative. The exam will be open all week the last week of classes, from 8:00am Monday April 25th- until 11:59pm on Friday April 29th, and will require Respondus LockDown Browser.

    2) You will not be able to make up the Final Exam unless you have formal documentation of a personal or family emergency, such as an emergency room visit (not a regular doctor’s check-up, for example), or a car accident (a police report with the date of the accident is required- not merely a photo of the accident).


    Course Requirements Number of Items Points for Each Total Points Available Weight
    Discussion Participation
    (6 out 11 will count towards your final grade)
    11 5 30 30%
    Group Wiki 1 25 25 25%
    Personal Philosophy of Leadership Paper 1 25 25 25%
    Final Exam 1 20 20 20%
    Total 10 N/A 100 100%
    Letter Range (%) Letter Range (%) Letter Range (%)
    A 93 – 100% B- 80 – 82% D+ 67 – 69%
    A- 90 – 92% C+ 77 – 79% D 63 – 66%
    B+ 87 – 89% C 73 – 76% D- 60 – 62%
    B 83 – 86% C- 70 – 72% F 0 – 59%

    Important Note

    I am committed to the success of each student in this course! If a problem is hindering your performance in this course, please contact me immediately. Please do not wait for the end of the term to have a conversation with me :)

    Course Calendar

    Weekly Schedule

    At the professor’s discretion, it may be necessary to make changes to the class schedule. Students will be notified via Blackboard and in class about any changes.

    Date Topics and Readings Reading and Assignment
    Week 1
    January 11 - 17


    • Introduction


    • Jordan, C. H., & Zanna, M. P. (1999). How to Read a Journal Article in Social Psychology.
    • Hooks, B. (2000). Feminism is for everybody (pp. 1-24
    • Read syllabus.
    Week 2
    January 18 - 24


    • The Current Status of Women Leaders: Where are the Women?

    Book Readings:

    • Chapter 1 (“Is there still a glass ceiling?”) in Eagly & Carli (2007). Through the labyrinth.
    • Chapter 2 (“Where are the women leaders?”) in Eagly & Carli (2007). Through the labyrinth.

    Additional Readings:

    • Cotter, D., Hermsen, J. M., Ovadia, S., & Vanneman, R. (2001). The glass ceiling effect. Social forces, 80(2), 655-681.
    • Discussion 1: Due Sunday, January 24th at 12:00PM (Noon).
    • Wiki Sign-up Due: Due Sunday, January 24th at 12:00PM (Noon).
    Week 3
    January 25 - 30


    • The Concepts of Gender and Leadership in U.S. Culture

    Book Readings:

    • Chapter 1 (“Gender schemas at work”) in Valian, V. (1999). Why So Slow?
    • Chapter 2 (“Gender begins -and continues- at home”) in Valian, V. (1999). Why So Slow?

    Additional Readings:

    • Chapter 1 in Northouse, P. G. (2010).  Leadership theory and practice.
    • Discussion 2: Due Sunday, January 30th at 12:00PM (Noon).
    Week 4
    February 1 - 7


    • Gender and Difference: Understanding and Evaluating Different Theoretical Positions

    Book Readings:

    • Chapter 3 (“Learning about gender”) in Valian, V. (1999). Why So Slow?
    • Chapter 4 (“Biology and behavior”) in Valian, V. (1999). Why So Slow?

    Additional Readings:

    • Eagly, A. H., & Wood, W. (1999). The origins of sex differences in human behavior: Evolved dispositions versus social roles, American Psychologist, 54, 408-423.
    • Discussion 3: Due Sunday, February 7th at 12:00PM (Noon).
    Week 5
    February 8 - 14


    • Leadership Theory


    • Chapter 2 (“Trait approach”) in Northouse, P. G. (2010).  Leadership theory and practice.
    • Chapter 5 (“Situational approach”) in Northouse, P. G. (2010).  Leadership theory and practice.
    • Chapter 9 (“Transformational leadership”) in Northouse, P. G. (2010).  Leadership theory and practice.
    • Discussion 4: Due Sunday, February 14th at 12:00PM (Noon).
    Week 6
    February 15 - 21


    • Gender, Leadership, and Discrimination

    Book Readings:

    • Chapter 7 (“Evaluating men and women”) in Valian, V. (1999). Why So Slow?
    • Chapter 5 (“Is discrimination still a problem?”) in Eagly and Carli (2007). Through the Labyrinth.
    • Chapter 6 (“What is the psychology of prejudice towards female leaders?”) in Eagly and Carli (2007). Through the Labyrinth.
    • Chapter 7 (“Do people resist women’s leadership?”) in Eagly and Carli (2007). Through the Labyrinth.
    • Discussion 5: Due Sunday, February 21st at 12:00PM (Noon).
    Week 7
    February 22 - 28


    • Gender and Leadership Styles

    Book Readings:

    • Chapter 3 (“Are men natural leaders?”) in Eagly and Carli (2007).Through the Labyrinth.
    • Chapter 8 (“Do women lead differently from men?”) in Eagly and Carli (2007).Through the Labyrinth.

    Additional Readings:

    • Eagly, A. H., Johannesen-Schmidt, M. C. (2001). The leadership styles of women and men, Journal of Social Issues, 57(4), 781-797.
    • Discussion 6: Due Sunday, February 28th at 12:00PM (Noon).
    Week 8
    February 29 - March 6


    • Gender and Leadership in the Political Arena

    Additional Readings:

    • Chapter 9 (“Its woman time”) in Kellerman & Rhode (2007). Women and Leadership: The state of play and strategies for change.
    • Chapter 10 (“She’s the candidate! A woman for president”) in Kellerman & Rhode (2007). Women and Leadership: The state of play and strategies for change.
    • Group Wiki: Due Sunday, March 6 at 12:00PM (Noon).
    Week 9
    March 7 - 13


    • Gender and Leadership in the Global Arena and Cross-Cultures


    • Chapter 15 (“Culture and leadership”) in Northouse, P. G. (2010).  Leadership theory and practice.
    • Chin, J. (2009). The dynamics of gender, race, and leadership. In Klein, R. H., Rice, C., & Schermer, V. L (Eds.). Leadership in a Changing World: Dynamic perspectives on groups and their leaders.
    • Sanchez-Hucles, J. V., & Davis, D. D. (2010). Women and women of color in leadership: Complexity, identity, and intersectionality. American Psychologist, 65(3), 171-181.
    • Discussion 7: Due Sunday, March 13th at 12:00PM (Noon).
    Week 10
    March 14 - 20
    Week 11
    March 21 - 27


    • Media Representations of Women Leaders

    Additional Readings:

    • Simon, S., & Hoyt, C. L. (2012). Exploring the effect of media images on women’s leadership self-perceptions and aspirations. Group processes and intergroup relations, 16(2), 232-245.
    • Wilson, M. (2004). Authority (Chapter 3). In M. C. Wilson, Closing the leadership gap: Why women can and must help run the world (pp. 33-52). New York, NY: Penguin.
    • Dunn-Jensen, L. M., & Stroh, L. K. (2007). Myths in the media: How the news media portray women in the workforce (Chapter 1). In D. Bilimoria & S. K. Piderit, Handbook on women in business and management (pp. 13-33). Cheltanham, UK: MPG Books.
    • Discussion 8: Due Sunday, March 27th at 12:00PM (Noon).
    Week 12
    March 28 - April 3


    • Gender and Household Responsibilities

    Book Readings:

    • Chapter 4 (“Do family responsibilities hold women back?”) in Eagly and Carli (2007).Through the Labyrinth.

    Additional Readings:

    • Correll, S. J., Benard, S., & Paik, I. (2007). Getting a job: Is there a motherhood penalty? American Journal of Sociology, 112, 1297-1338.
    • Biernat, M., & Wortman, C. B. (1991). Sharing of home responsibilities between professionally employed women and their husbands. Journal of personality and social psychology, 60(6), 844-860.
    • Discussion 9: Due Sunday, April 3rd at 12:00PM (Noon).
    Week 13
    April 4 - 10


    • Legal History of Gender Issues in the Workplace

    Book Readings:

    • Chapter 9 (“Do organizations compromise women’s leadership?”) in Eagly and Carli (2007).Through the Labyrinth.
    • Chapter 13 (“Affirmative action and the law”) in Valian, V. (1999). Why So Slow?

    Additional Readings:

    • Fiske, S. T., Bersoff, D. N., Borgida, E., Deaux, K., & Heilman, M. E. (1991). Social science research on trial: Use of sex stereotyping research in Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins. American Psychologist, 46, 1049-1060
    • Discussion 10: Due Sunday, April 10th at 12:00PM (Noon).
    Week 14
    April 11 - 17


    • Challenges men face


    • Judge, T. A., Livingston, B. A., & Hurst, C. (2012). Do nice guys -- and gals -- really finish last? The joint effects of sex and agreeableness on income. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 102, 390-407.
    • Chapter 11 (“Leadership, authority, and women: A man’s challenge”) in Kellerman & Rhode (2007). Women and Leadership: The state of play and strategies for change.
    • Discussion 11: Due Sunday, April 17th at 12:00PM (Noon).
    Week 15
    April 18 - 24


    How do Women Find Their Way Through the Labyrinth?

    Book Readings:

    • Chapter 10 (“How do some women find their way through the labyrinth?”) in Eagly and Carli (2007). Through the Labyrinth.
    • Chapter 14 (“Remedies”) in Valian, V. (1999). Why So Slow

    Additional Readings:

    • Bowles, L., & Babcock, H. R. (2013). How can women escape the compensation negotiation dilemma? Relational accounts are one answer. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 37(1), 80-96.
    • Personal Philosophy of Leadership Paper: Due Sunday, April 24th at 12:00PM (Noon).
    Week 16
    April 25 - 30
    • Exam Available from Monday April 25th at 8:00am - Friday, April 29th, 11:59pm.