Women empowerment remains a challenge for organisations to overcome in the effort to promote women in leadership positions. They are ambitious in their goals and strive to have their opinions heard yet there exists certain collective factors embedded in certain organisations’ cultures that inhibit their growth. This research aims to gauge the perception of women empowerment in Malaysian student organisations globally by understanding their cultures and resisting factors for female members based on the members’ opinions. The results indicate an existing level of ambition and confidence amongst women respondents. They enjoyed working in their teams and have a desire to climb higher but they lacked a high level of respect from their peers and superiors. There is also resistance to women voicing their opinions in the organisation—ideas were sometimes ignored and certain things do not go their way simply because of their identity as a woman. Barriers to entry and the cultural belief that men have an undeniable advantage in certain tasks count towards other deterring factors to their advancement. Regardless, changing attitudes and improving structure can give the right motivation for women in leadership. Having more females in the executive committee and access to female leaders encourages women to be more confident in their leadership capabilities, and hence organisations should attempt to have more women in their management teams through sponsorship programs or other initiatives. Men and women already in power can use their privileges to actively change mindsets and culture. But what’s most important is a strong passion amongst the members to empower women and to see them as compatible rivals with equal potential.
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