The issue of women in leadership is an aspect that has constantly brought a lot of debates in the media and in the world. Leadership over time has been assumed by men and women have in lesser capacities been able to assume this position. The financial services sector is one of the sectors where there are few women in leadership. Leadership is denoted as the process of social influencing, where one individual can enlist the support and aid of others in the achievement of a joint task. A leader is seen as a person who directs and guides others. Leadership can also be attributed to be the organization of people with a motive of achieving a common goal. The various studies conducted have created theories regarding situation interaction, traits, power, function, vision and values, behavior, intelligence, and charisma amidst others.

Financial services are referred to as the economic services offered by the finance industry that comprises of a wide range of organizations, which manage money like banks, credit unions, insurance companies, credit cards companies, stock brokerages, consumer finance companies, government sponsored enterprises, and investment funds.

Lately, the financial services business represents 20% market capitalization regarding S&P mainly in the US. This study is all about the challenges and experiences that women face in leadership. Glass ceiling or commonly described as sexism, or enlightened sexism by a prominent feminist writer called Susan Douglas is the discrimination or prejudice based on an individual’s gender or sex. Sexist attitudes are said to start from traditional stereotypes regarding gender roles, and can include the acceptance that an individual’s sex is inherently superior to the other person of the opposite gender. This study will look at the challenges and the experiences those women leaders in financial services face. With a 4% women leadership in this sector as explained by the study, this indicates that women have a huge problem in leadership and how seism has affected the situation.

Problem statement

This study was aimed solving and understanding the challenges that women leaders in the financial sector face. The study also wanted to clearly understand the experiences that women leaders in the financial sector face as they lead all the services associated with this sector. This study will also try to look into the aspect if women leaders in this sector perform better than men in this sector an aspect that has been echoed that what men can do, women can do it better.

Literature review

This chapter will be designed to present the theoretical and academic background relating to the necessary concepts to study and meet the earlier stated research objectives (Chapter 1). This chapter will analyze and assess the topic of this study using different research studies conducted previously in similar field and keeping in mind the two distinct disciplines from where the study derived its problem statement, which is solving and understanding the challenges that women leaders in the financial sector face and clearly understanding the experiences that women leaders in the financial sector face as they lead all the services associated with this sector. The performance of women leaders in the financial sector will also be looked into to understand how they run their affairs. This study will also try to compare the performance of women leaders in the financial sector with that of men leaders in the same sector.

The chapter will, in a logical sequence of concepts, also discuss few theories relating to women and leadership to provide a better understanding about the experiences that women leaders face in the financial sector and all the other sectors at large, as well as the research findings theoretically.
Further in this chapter, the researcher will emphasis other leadership related models and strategies as previously published by different authors and scholars to critically analyze the factors that need to be considered in enhancing and ensuring that women leaders in the financial sector face less experience related to glass ceiling.

Executive summary

In this chapter, the researcher will review the perceptions of different previous research studies to explore and understand the gaps and the unexplored areas and which are significant to this research study. Also, a number of leadership theories and strategies will be analyzed to justify the conclusions and the way forward. The Findings derived from this chapter will be used to plan the next chapter which is the research methodology.

The literature review will focus on the following aspects:

The experiences that women leaders face in the financial sector
Women and men perception regarding the issue of glass ceiling
Strategies that can be used to ensure that glass ceiling is minimized
The concepts and theories related to women and leadership

Research methodologies

Research design provides facts of how a research process is steered. This chapter describes these procedures beginning with the research alignment that informed my study the nature of reality, the origin of knowledge and the choice of the methodology which directed my study and helped to preserve coherence during the study. The purpose of the study is attained by addressing the research questions.

The study sites are clearly labeled to inform the reader about the detailed environment in which the data was composed and includes an explanation of the participants how they were designated, and how they were used in the study. The chapter then explains the method, tools and techniques of collecting data. The process of collecting data is linked to a discussion of the measures adopted to ensure the quality of data collected. Following this is a discussion of the ethical issues, which describes the process of involvement of participants in the study and of how participants were respected throughout the research process. The chapter ends by discussing how the data was analyzed including the methods of analyzing data and the tools used. The design to be incorporated is the descriptive research survey.

Research aim

The study seeks to establish the experiences of women leaders in the financial sector and the various ways that they use to cope and evade from these challenges, and the effect of glass ceiling in regards to their leadership and performance.

Research method

Yin (1993) defines a case study as an experimental inquiry that investigates a modern phenomenon within its real life framework, especially when the limits between phenomenon and setting are not clearly obvious. He further expounds upon the reason for using a case research and suggests that you can use the case study method since you deliberately wanted to cover related conditions believing that they might be appropriate to your phenomenon of the research (Yin 2002). The case study method was espoused in this study to examine the phenomenon within the diverse circumstances of the various types of financial services providers.

I applied to use an interpretive approach since I wanted to focus on the lived involvements women leaders in this sector, and because interpretive case studies contain rich thick description (Merriam, 2001). Since the research constituted a number of different sites it was considered to be a multiple case study (Yin, 2002).


  • Merriam, S.B. (2002). Qualitative Research in Practice. Examples for Discussion and Analysis. San Fransisco. Jossey Bass.
  • Yin, K.R. (2002). Case Study Research, Design Method. London ,Sage Publication.