Gender in Business and Leadership

Course Description

In this online class, we will examine issues regarding the role of gender in society and leadership. We will explore the major gender issues facing society today, such as equal employment opportunity, leadership styles, and the balancing of work and family. Students will be exposed to a variety of conceptual frameworks and perspectives. They may use these frameworks for interpreting problems and solutions. We will explore each framework or perspective by applying it to case studies. We will reflect on the effectiveness and shortcomings of each perspective and evaluate the effectiveness of leadership styles without regard to gender.

Course Learning Goals

After completing this course, you will be able to:

Course Competencies

In this course, you will develop the following competencies:


Competence Statement and Criteria


Can examine a social or economic issue from a specific leadership perspective.


Can examine the effectiveness of individual leadership styles in different situations or environments.


Can analyze power relations among racial, social, cultural, and economic groups in the United States.


Can utilize leadership concepts and apply them to a contemporary business or societal problem.

Course Resources

To buy your books, go to

Required Reading:

Sandberg, Sheryl, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead (Alfred A. Knopf) (ISBN:978-0-385-34994-9)

Northouse, Peter. Leadership: Theory and Practice, 7th Edition. (ISBN: 978-1483317533)

The following required reading(s) are available on the DePaul library ereserves:

Padavic, Irene and Reskin, Barbara, (2011) Women and Men At Work (Sage Publications) Second Edition (ISBN: 0-7619-8710-X)

Kellernan, Barbara., Rhodes, Deborah L. Women and Leadership: The State of Play and the Strategies for Change (Jossey-Bass) First Edition (ISBN: 978-0787988333)

The following required readings are available for purchase through the Harvard Business Review.

To purchase the Harvard Business Review Articles, go to

Please review the Harvard Business Review Privacy Policy.

Please review the Harvard Business Review Accessibility Statement.

Harvard Business Review (HBR) essays (Required):
Recommended Harvard Business Review Reading (not required):

Course Grading Scale

A = 95 to 100

A- = 91 to 94

B+ = 88 to 90

B = 85 to 87

B- = 81 to 84

C+ = 77 to 80

C = 73 to 76

C- = 69 to 72

D+ = 65 to 68

D = 61 to 64

F = 60 or below


Grades lower than a C- do not earn credit at the School for New Learning.

Course Structure

This course consists of 10 modules. The estimated time to complete each module is one week.

The following table outlines the course:

Week,  Module # and Title



Week 1, Module 1: Leadership and Gender

Sandberg, Sheryl.  Lean In: Women Work and the Will to Lead - Introduction, pgs. 6-14

Statistical Overview of Women In The Workforce

HBR Cases:

  • The Manager's Job
  • Ways Chief Executive Officers Lead
  • What Do Leaders Really Do?

Class Introductions

1.1 Fact Sheet: The Women's Leadership Gap Discussion

1.2 Northouse Survey

1.3 Identifying Leadership Characteristics

Week 2, Module 2: Gender in the Workplace

Sandberg, Sheryl.  Lean In: Women, Work and The Will to Lead - Chapters 1 & 2.

Northouse, Peter. Leadership: Theory and Practice.  Transactional vs. Transformative Leadership - Chapter 8.

HBR Case:

  • Two Women, Three Men, and a Raft

2.1 Transformational vs. Transactional Leadership Discussion

2.2 Identifying Leadership Styles Discussion


Week 3, Module 3: Unconscious Bias

Sandberg, Sheryl.  Lean In: Women Work and the Will to Lead - Chapters 3 & 4

Northouse, Peter. Leadership: Theory and Practice - Chapter 15

Padavic, I., Reskin, Barbara. Women and Men at Work

HBR Case:

  • Cheri Mack Case Study


3.1 Identifying Unconscious Biases Assignment

3.2 Unconcscious Bias Quiz


Week 4, Module 4:The Credibility Gap

Sandberg, Sheryl.  Lean In: Women Work and the Will to Lead - Chapters 5 & 6

Northouse, Peter. Leadership, Theory and Practice, 7th Edition - Chapter 15

Are Women Less Credible As Leaders? , By Victor S.L. Tan

HBR Case:

Women Rising: The Unseen Barriers By Herminia Ibarra, Robin J. Ely, and Deborah M. Kolb


4.1 Case Studies Review Assignment

4.2 Pregnancy As a Barrier to Job Status Case Study Discussion



Week 5, Module 5: Women In History and Impact on Tomorrow

Northouse,Peter. Leadership: Theory and Practice - Chapter 15

Kellerman, B., Rhode, D.L., Women & Leadership - pgs. 4-30

Padavic, I., Reskin, Barbara.Women and Men at Work


5.1 Compare and Contrast Leadership Effectiveness: Past and Present Discussion

5.2 Historic Leadership Assignment

Week 6, Module 6: Work and Family Life

The Gender Leadership Gap: Are Women the Real Issue That's Holding Women Back

Kellerman, B., Rhode, D.L., Women & Leadership - pgs. 149-164

Sandberg, Sheryl.  Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead - Chapter 7, 8, and 9

HBR Case:

  • "Off-Ramp- or Dead End?" by Sharman Esarey and Amo Haslberger


Group Discussion Assignment

6.1 "Off-Ramp- or Dean End"? Discussion

Week 7, Module 7: The Gender Gap and Pay Gap: Is it Just About Gender?

Sandberg, Sheryl, Lean In:Women, Work and the Will to Lead - Chapter 10.

Fact Sheet: The Women's Leadership Gap

Citibank 2016 Annual Diversity Report

Citi Is the First U.S. Bank to Respond to Shareholder Pressure to Close Gender Pay Gap

Citigroup Promises to Bridge the Pay Gap in Three Countries

HBR Case:

  • Mommy-Track Backlash
  • "Off-Ramp- or Dead End?" by Sharman Esarey and Amo Haslberger
  • How We Closed the Gap Between Men's and Women's Retention Rates by Michelle Stohlmeyer Russell and Lori Moskowitz Lepler

7.1 Gender Gap Assignment

7.2 The Women's Leadership Gap Discussion

Week 8, Module 8:Authentic Leadership

Northouse, Peter. Leadership: Theory and Practice - Chapter 9


8.1 Authentic Leadership Written Assignment

8.2 Authentic Leadership Quiz

Week 9, Module 9: Workplace Flexibility

Sandberg, Sheryl. Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead - Chapter 11

Northouse, Peter. Leadership, Theory and Practice, 7th Edition - Chapter 15

HBR Case:

Harvard Business Review Case: Mommy-Track Backlash by Alden M. Hayashi

How Hard Should You Push Diversity? By Martin N. Davidson

9.1 Flexibility in the Workplace Assignment

9.2 Workplace Flexibility Discussion



Week 10, Module 10: Globalization, Culture, and Leadership

Northhouse, Peter. Leadership: Theory and Practice - Chapter 16

Ellen, Tim Cook and the Most Powerful LGBT Executives

10.1 - Regarding Gender Equality: How Does the U.S. Rank Discussion

10.2 - LGBT National and International Leadership Discussion

Week 11, Module 11: Final Thoughts

No Readings

11.1 - Wrapping Up Discussion


To see the course due dates, please check the Calendar on your course home page.

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Assessment of Learning

Percentage distribution of Assessments

Grading Category:

% of Final Grade:

Discussion Board Postings




Group Assignment






Course Expectations

Grading Policies and Practices

To complete the course, you must complete each of the assignments as described in the course and submit them to your instructor by the assigned deadline.  In addition, you must participate in the course discussion forum by responding to all instructor requests and by interacting with fellow classmates as necessary.

Points are deducted for late work.

Grades will be available 7 days from the due date of a particular assignment.

General Assessment Criteria for All Writing Assignments

All writing assignments are expected to conform to basic college-level standards of mechanics and presentation.

Consider visiting the Writing Center to discuss your assignments for this course or any others. You may schedule appointments (30 or 50 minutes) on an as–needed or weekly basis, scheduling up to 3 hours worth of appointments per week. Online services include Feedback–by–Email and IM conferencing (with or without a webcam). All writing center services are free.

Writing Center tutors are specially selected and trained graduate and undergraduate students who can help you at almost any stage of your writing. They will not do your work for you, but they can help you focus and develop your ideas, review your drafts, and polish your writing. They can answer questions about grammar, mechanics, different kinds of writing styles, and documentation formats. They also can answer questions and provide feedback online, through IM/webcam chats and email.

Obviously, the tutors won’t necessarily be familiar with every class or subject, but they are able to provide valuable help from the perspective of an interested and careful reader as well as a serious and experienced student-writer.

Schedule your appointments with enough time to think about and use the feedback you’ll receive. To schedule a Face-to-Face, Written Feedback by Email, or Online Appointment, visit

Discussion Forums

Discussion Forums are an important component of your online experience. This course contains discussion forums related to the topics you are studying each week. For requirements on your participation in the Discussion Forums, please see “Course Expectations” in the syllabus.

A Course Q & A discussion forum has also been established to manage necessary, ongoing social and administrative activities. This is where the management and administrative tasks of the course are conducted, and where you can ask ‘process’ questions and receive answers throughout the course. Please feel free to answer any question if you feel you know the answer; this sharing of information is valuable to other students.

Online Participation Guidelines

A significant part of your online learning experience involves learning with and from your classmates and the instructor in the online discussions and group assignments. Active participation means sharing information and resources and posting you ideas and critiquing and expanding on the ideas of others in a collegial fashion. This discussion is informal in the sense that it is meant to encourage interested discussion.

You are expected to follow accepted standards of English spelling, grammar and usage, although you will not be assessed for these particular characteristics when you are participating in the discussions.

These discussions are for you to exchange your reflections with your classmates and instructor about what you are learning. The discussions will be organized into forums around the particular topic(s) you are studying each week.

You may be asked by the instructor to take leadership in a certain group for a certain time of the course. You will receive further instructions from your instructor if this occurs. You should contribute your responses to the particular assignment for that particular discussion heading which will be posted. For each Discussion Forum, you are required to make at least one original contribution to each topic and respond to one or more classmates’ contributions.

Course Etiquette

Online discussions are an important part of your course experience. To ensure a positive learning environment, please follow the following minimum expectations. Use your common sense, as not all situations can be covered:

Time Management and Attendance

SNL courses are not self-paced and require a regular time commitment EACH week throughout the quarter. You are required to log in to your course regularly so that you can participate in the ongoing course discussions. Online courses are no less time consuming than "face to face" courses. You will have to dedicate some time every day or at least every second day to your studies. A typical four credit hour "face to face" course at SNL involves three hours of classroom meeting per week, plus at least three to six hours of study and homework per week.

This course will require at least the same time commitment, but your learning activities will be spread out through the week. If you have any problems with your technology, or if you need to improve your reading or writing skills, it may take even longer.

The instructor should be notified if your life events do not allow you to participate in the course and the online discussions for more than one week. This is particularly important when there are group discussions or you are working as part of a team.

If you find yourself getting behind, please contact the instructor immediately.

Your Instructor's Role

Your instructor's role in this course is that of a discussion facilitator and learning advisor. It is not their responsibility to make sure you log in regularly and submit your assignments. As instructor, s/he will read all postings to the general discussion forums on a daily basis but may not choose to respond to each posting. You will receive feedback to assignments. The instructor may choose to designate "office hours" when s/he will be online and available and will immediately respond to questions. Depending on the instructor, this response may be by e-mail, instant messenger or telephone. Otherwise, you will generally receive a response to emailed or posted queries within 48 hours.

Your Role as a Student

As an online student, you will be taking a proactive approach to your learning. As the course instructor's role is that of a learning guide, your role is that of the leader in your own learning.

You will be managing your own time so that you can complete the readings, activities and assignments for the course, and you will also be expected to take a more active role in peer learning.

Please also note that this is a course offered by DePaul University's School for New Learning (SNL), a college for undergraduate and graduate degree-seeking students 24 years and older. SNL welcomes the perspectives and encourages the participation of all DePaul students, and students who take this course should respect and be mindful of SNL's mission in supporting a diverse and inclusive environment. More information about SNL can be found here.

Course Policies

This course will adhere to the principles of academic integrity outlined in DePaul University’s Student Handbook.

The DePaul Student Handbook clearly defines plagiarism.  Plagiarism will not be accepted and will result in a failure of the assignment or possibly the course.  If you need assistance in knowing how to cite a resource, please ask for assistance.

To complete the course, you must complete each of the assignments as described in the course and submit them to your instructor by the assigned deadline. In addition, you must participate in the course discussion forum by responding to all instructor requests and by interacting with fellow classmates as necessary.

Points are deducted for late work.

College and University Policies

This course includes and adheres to the college and university policies described in the links below:

Academic Integrity Policy (UGRAD)

Academic Integrity Policy (GRAD)

Incomplete Policy

Course Withdrawal Timelines and Grade/Fee Consequences

Accommodations Based on the Impact of a Disability

Protection of Human Research Participants

APA citation format (GRAD)

Additional Course Resources

University Center for Writing-based Learning

SNL Writing Guide

Dean of Students Office

Changes to Syllabus

This syllabus is subject to change as necessary. If a change occurs, it will be clearly communicated to students.


This course was designed and produced by Bridgette Mahan and staff of DePaul University.

©2016 School for New Learning, DePaul University. All Rights Reserved by SNL during contractual interval with the Author.