Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) Capstone Projects

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Research shows that organizations perform better when women are represented on senior leadership teams. Yet women are not rising to the highest ranks of leadership at equivalent rates as men. Gender stereotypes negatively influence women’s self-efficacy, the internal beliefs of what they are capable of. Women hold themselves back when they respond to these low self-efficacy beliefs, by not aspiring, not applying, not asking, and not acting. This paper explores current leadership gap data and the consequences of the disparity between men and women in leadership roles. Next, the paper describes how stereotypes can create the underlying problem: limiting internal beliefs. This paper proposes an evidence-based solution drawn from the field of positive psychology. A review of decades of research suggests that with increased career self-efficacy, women will be more likely to reach for, persist in, and succeed in senior leadership positions. The paper’s appendices describe four practical interventions that can be implemented by women and organizations designed to raise women’s career self-efficacy.


self-efficacy, career self-efficacy, women, leadership, stereotypes


Well-Being/Flourishing, Business/Work, Achievement


Literature Review



Date Posted: 11 September 2018