Christy Hopkins

School of Management
Massey Business School


Thesis Title
Leadership Re-Defined: Case Studies of Entrepreneurial Women

Research Description
Many countries, including New Zealand and the United States, have passed laws to advance and protect women professionally. As a result, official organizational policies regarding gender equity and equal opportunity are more prolific than ever, however, women—particularly those whose identity encompasses multiple forms of minority representation beyond gender (such as race, ethnicity, class, and sexuality)—are still under-represented in senior management. There are, however, progressive organizations striving to embrace diversity and equity—particularly at the executive level. As change agents, their unchartered journey of organizational development and culture change no doubt encompass both triumphs and setbacks in many areas: official policies vs. actual execution, organizational climate, the symbols and structures indirectly and overtly communicated, as well as the mentoring, evaluation, promotion, retention and job satisfaction of the “typically” under-represented. These organizations’ experiences (internally and externally) as change agents and advocates of diversity are a guiding light for other entities wanting to also embrace an equal opportunity workplace.

Personal Description
I obtained a BA (cum laude) in English from McKendree University, Lebanon, Illinois. I completed a dual MA in Leadership and Management/Human Resource Development from Webster University, St. Louis, Missouri. I took special interest in women in leadership—now the impetus behind my PhD. Early in my career, the best leader I ever worked for told me I had a responsibility to “Make it better, and make it last.” It's this challenge that, 12 years later, inspires my passion. I chose Massey because I am impressed with the support to PhD students; I am honoured Sarah and Suze are my supervisors.

Professor Sarah Leberman
Dr Suze Wilson