Posted by: Sydney Shaw | January 14, 2019

Women Can Do Leadership

After taking sports leadership last semester, the story of Pat Summitt and her leadership in women’s college basketball has stuck with me. Some of the recent articles we have read about the barriers women face in obtaining top leadership positions or how they are restricted from jobs because they are women made me think back to Summitt’s story. In a predominately male culture and era when women’s athletics were much more rare and unsupported, Summitt grew as a coach and leader, breaking through barriers and demonstrating her strong leadership abilities on and off the court. Her players, assistant coaches, and son can attest to her success as leader. Her winning records, eight national championships, Hall of Fame induction, and overall coaching career are just the basis of her leadership abilities. Taking all this into account and from previous readings and research, I am trying to understand why society believes women should not or cannot hold top leadership positions. In the world of sports, most athletes prefer a male coach or leader because they think they do a better job, but why or how? There are numerous other women in this world, like Pat Summitt, who have made a name for themselves in their field. Pat Summitt is a great example of a woman succeeding in a masculine job and culture, so why not want or allow more women to do the same?


  1. I love sports and the way that it relates to leadership is super interesting. Pat Summitt is an amazing example of someone breaking through the glass ceiling and proving every single stereotype wrong. Your question is interesting too; I feel as though organizations believe inherently, whether they realize it or not, that a man could do a lot of jobs better than a woman. This relates back to my post as well. To an extent, it’s up to men to speak out and help get women in leadership positions.

  2. I thought about this too especially while reading the article on Jerrie Cobb and then again while reading the more recent article of the glass ceiling. The question of why society believes women should not or cannot hold top leadership positions keeps coming to mind. In the Jerrie Cobb article it stated that she scored better on tests than the males but was still not “qualified” for the role. In the glass ceiling article it gives the excuses of people worried about it being too risky to invest in women because their likely to quit their jobs to be at home and how clients would not want to work with women. It makes me wonder if people just don’t like change, but really have no strong opposition against it other than it being different than the way things use to be.

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