Characterization of leadership styles, with a gender approach: a study with final-year students from an Engineering School in Chile

Camila Zapata, Yunia Valentina Recaman, Maria Elena Truyol

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


In Chile, women make up the majority of higher education students, yet only 20% of engineering graduates are women, according to OECD data. This general masculinization affects not only gender distribution in engineering, but also women's opportunities in attaining leadership roles. Limited access to higher-level positions having greater decision-making powers and better salaries shows ongoing vertical gender segregation in various industries. Leadership style is defined as the blend of traits, skills, and behaviors that leaders exhibit when interacting with their team. Given that the dominant leadership model in organizations is male- oriented, studies have shown the benefits of gender equality in leadership positions where femaleleadership characteristics are crucial. Future engineers must be equipped to assume leadership roles, which can be achieved through their education. This present investigation aims to study leadership characteristics of final-year students in the Industrial Engineering program in the engineering faculty of a prominent Chilean university. The goal is to identify various leadership styles in students and compare differencesand similarities based on gender. A questionnaire, with Likert-scale responses, was used to gather data on leadership styles and skills. The results allow for an analysis of various leadership styles present in final-year Industrial Engineering students, highlighting differences and similarities in the sample by gender. Based on these findings, recommendations are made to foster desired leadership styles informative years, aligning with current organizational demands for decision-making positions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2023
Event2023 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - The Harbor of Engineering: Education for 130 Years, ASEE 2023 - Baltimore, United States
Duration: 25 Jun 202328 Jun 2023


  • Female leadership
  • Gender
  • industrial engineering
  • Leadership styles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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