My name is Monika Sumra and I am currently conducting my PHD thesis on women’s leadership at the University of Toronto in the departments of Anthropology and Collaborative Program in Women’s Health.
For my PHD thesis I am seeking to understand how women, in their own voices, perceive and embody experiences related to leadership. The data of this is being collected through a survey, hair analysis of specific hormone levels and finger measurements. Whether a woman considers herself a leader or not, I am interested in understanding what they feel leadership is all about. I am the first to combine a multidisciplinary and holistic approach within this area of research, which simultaneously considers social, psychological and biological aspects of women’s lived experiences within the context of leadership. In addition to understanding what leadership means to women from a socially constructivist perspective, I am also examining the potential role that hormones play in relation to leadership behaviours.
Social context influences hormonal levels and vice versa so I am keen on understanding whether there is an interplay or not which I am conducting through hair analysis looking at 5 specific hormones that have been linked to specific leadership traits (though this has not been investigated in women or men for that matter). In addition I am also examining the potential link between differences in length between the ring and index fingers which have been linked to in-utero exposure to increased levels of testosterone. Any way you can help is great! You can just fill out the survey anonymously an not provide a hair sample or finger measurements. I am also very much interested in understanding the role that parents and other mentors play in the development of leadership traits and would love to arrange to talk to you about this if you would like to share your thoughts!
I have received ethics approval for my project and my survey has already garnered much attention and support of many women and women’s groups. This is validates my research goal which is to add to conversation on women currently understand and experience leadership . My hope is through my research, to further inform and facilitate the development of strategies that focus on developing mentorship strategies to hone qualities of leadership in women through more intentional and specific approaches that reflect the needs of women today. Rest assured your anonymity and confidentiality is completely protected.
After returning to U of T in 2008 after a 25-year hiatus, I finally finished my BSc. 2011, completed my MSc in 2013 and am now working on m PHD. It is never too late to learn and never to late to give back. My goal is through my research to give back to women in any way I can.
Please help me achieve this by completing my survey here. If you have any questions please email at email@example.com
Monika Sumra is a successful business owner, academic, teacher, mother of two adult sons, wife, author and researcher. After selling her successful floral business Desert Rose in 2008, and with the strong encouragement of her husband Steven, Monika returned to the University of Toronto to complete her Bachelor’s degree. Her interest in the study of women and their role in society led to the completion of her BSc with high distinction in 2011, followed by her MSc in 2013 which, examined the relationship between multiple-role women (“superwomen”) and stress. Currently, Monika is simultaneously acting as a leadership coach versed in Toyota Kata for Optivity Consulting and pursuing her PhD examining psychological, social and physiological correlates of women in leadership roles. “As leaders, women are collaborative, driven, not afraid of trial and error, strategic and passionate. My goal is to help women leaders further develop, enhance and target these traits in productive and self-fulfilling ways.”