Identification of Personality Traits and Glass Ceiling Barriers Faced by Women Leaders in Pakistan


  • Uzma Ashiq Khan
  • Sarah Shahed
  • Nazia Salah-ud-Din
  • Maryam Zafar


Worldwide, women constitute half of the world’s population. They are socialized as
inappropriate for certain leadership roles. Previous research demonstrated that
women have been believed as less ambitious than men, therefore, they have to face
invisible barrier of glass ceiling to their way of occupational promotion. This study
comprised two phases, researcher focused on 5 leadership domains and 2 participants
from each domain were selected through purposive sampling technique. The
personality profile of female leaders was explored by two personality assessment tools
including; Myers-Briggs Trait Inventory (MBTI) and Big Five Inventory (BFI). In the
second phase, in-depth interviews were conducted to explore the unseen barriers in
the life of women leaders. The result of the study I, revealed that the personality
preference types were associated with the nature of the job of the leaders, while
thinking and judgment were the most prevailing preferences among the female leaders.
Also, Big Five Inventory showed that every leader’s characteristics verily are highest
for specific indicator, depending on their profession. The analysis of study II identified
following hurdles and challenges faced by women leaders in different facets of political,
academic, entrepreneurial, organizational and student leaders throughout their lives in
Pakistan, i.e. lack of confidence, gender discrimination, in justice system, professional
jealousy, unsupportive family, and work-family imbalance.

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How to Cite

Uzma Ashiq Khan, Sarah Shahed, Nazia Salah-ud-Din, & Maryam Zafar. (2023). Identification of Personality Traits and Glass Ceiling Barriers Faced by Women Leaders in Pakistan. ASIAN Journal of International Peace & Security (AJIPS), 7(1), 20 - 35. Retrieved from