Leadership and Diversity in Investment Banking: Explaining Male and Female Potential

Koczwara, Anna. 2007. Leadership and Diversity in Investment Banking: Explaining Male and Female Potential. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

Although women are now entering the professions in equal numbers to men, they are still less likely to occupy senior positions, particularly in higher paid private sector organisations. This is of particular concern to many financial services organisations who have already sought to enhance opportunities for women. Despite these efforts there is a growing recognition of a need for more detailed understanding of the processes contributing to differential career progression.

A socio-cognitive model of unfair discrimination (Silvester& Chapman, 1996) applied to appraisal contexts suggests two potential barriers to women reaching senior organisational positions. First, that managers use different attribution patterns to explain the behaviour of male and female staff and, secondly, that differences in the way male and female employees explain their own performance impacts on their career progress. The two barriers in this model have yet to be tested within a single organisation. This PhD aimed to do this by investigating how managers in an investment bank identify leadership potential in male and female employees.

The research consisted of 5 main studies: 1) an investigation of attributions used by UK managers to explain employees' leadership potential; 2) an investigation of attributions used by UK employees to explain their own leadership potential; 3) an exploration of behaviours used by UK managers and employees to define leadership potential; 4) a validation study examining behaviours associated with leadership potential; and 5) a cross-cultural comparison of UK and US managers' explanations for employees' leadership potential. Overall, findings indicated significant differences in the way both UK and US managers identify and evaluate male and female leadership potential. Conversely, little evidence was found to suggest male and female employees were explaining their own leadership potential in different ways. Implications of these findings and practical steps to address these issues are discussed.

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Thesis (Doctoral)

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February 2007

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Date Deposited:

21 May 2020 16:00

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2022 15:40



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