An analysis of the problems affecting women's performance in management in relation to the characteristics they posses: a case of women in management in selected public universities in Kenya
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In the past much attention has been given to women's struggle to crack through the proverbial ' glass ceiling , and assume positions in the upper echelons of the organisation, yet less attention has been given to the problems these women face while in such management positions yet these problems affect the performance of these women managers. This study, therefore sought out to determine the characteristics of women managers in public universities, the problems they experience and to extend which it affects their performance. The population of interest consisted of all women managers in selected public universities i.e. University of Nairobi, Kenyatta University and JKUAT. The expected number of respondents were 42, but those who returned the questionnaires were 39, the other three were not present at the time of picking up the questionnaires. The information from the respondents was collected using a drop and pick later questionnaires completed by women managers ranging from administrators, head of departments, deans, supervisors, executives ,managers, assistant managers, registrars etc. Data collected was coded, summarized, organized and analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). The study found out that there are very few women who have made it up to top management levels in public universities in this case they were only 10.3% of the respondents and most of the women managers were older i.e. over 40 years (79.5 %).In addition to that most of these women are in management due to the unique characteristics that they posses. For instance 69.2% strongly agreed that they had strong motivation to succeed, 64.1 % agreed that they were assertive and 51.3% said they were confident in decisions they make. Also the study found out that the few women in management in public universities experience problems that adversely affect their performance. However more investigation into the scenario would be necessary. From the foregoing, it is evident that concern for women must go beyond mere participation in management, to embrace transformation of our institutions towards improvement for gender responsiveness by mainstreaming gender concerns in policy making, planning and programming. From the recommendations given by the researcher it is anticipated that the findings will be important to institutions management, employers, government, policy makers and academicians in understanding problems affecting women's performance in management and where applicable take the necessary action.