And your dissertation supervisor is …..male!

Yesterday, I finally managed to get a supervisor for my dissertation.  Whoever thought such a process could be fraught with problems?  That is because your supervisor can either make or break your dissertation, and so you need to have the right person on board, someone who will inspire and motivate you, but most importantly is there at the end of the line, when you need their support. 

Now, I am not a person who needs motivation to do my work, in fact I am the exact opposite, I am my worst enemy when it comes to Uni work.  It has to be perfect and anything less grinds me.  So as far as commitment on my part is concerned, that is not a problem.  But without giving too much away, or sounding disrespectful, I had approached one potential candidate to supervise me.  I was impressed by their wealth of experience and knowledge in the area of my research. 

Several emails were sent regarding other issues, culminating with the final one in which I made the request for them to be my supervisor, but alas, no reply to any of the emails.  I had received previous warnings about their non–responsiveness to email communication, but decided to cast aside those rumours, which I believe was the right thing to do.  Clearly my ‘research’ proved them right.  So anyway to cut the long story short, I have now been assigned a new supervisor, who has already responded to my first email, and we are meeting tomorrow! 

What’s interesting about my new supervisor, is that he is male.  I hear some of you ask, is being male interesting?  Well it depends, but that statement is in relation to my topic ‘Women in Leadership in Africa: Challenges and Opportunities’.  The subject of female representation in Corporate has captured my imagination, and it birthed an interest within me to find out what women of my background experience in their journey and aspirations into leadership positions.  So naturally to guide me, someone of the same gender as me would have been the ideal candidate.  My ‘aha!’ moment came yesterday, when I realised that by having a male supervisor, I am removing some bias which may be associated with my research.  I read an article recently–annie-lennox&catid=49:human-rights-of-women&Itemid=146, which stated that if we are going to make real progress in this global agenda to have greater female representation in leadership roles, we need to engage men in the dialogue.  So the information gathered from my research will likely ignite conversations around his network, and mine on this issue.  I strongly feel that it is through talking that many preconceived negative ideas have the potential to be turned into something positive.  Allow me to be philosophical here, but I guess some things do happen for a reason!

I am excited about this journey I am on.  It has been a hard slog to get here, but here I am.  Through my blog, I will try as much as I can to keep you posted on progress.  I will share what I uncover from my research, maybe some personal stuff too.  I cannot say how frequently I will be writing, but whenever I have the opportunity, I will drop by and share.