Leadership Education and College Students: Working with Alpha females and males

DiPaolo, Donald G.

This presentation is a retrospective on a number of recent works by Dr. DiPaolo on leadership education and college students.  It includes the results of a national survey to be published this summer by a research team that he has joined at Miami University that looks at the Alpha Female personality among college students.  Implications for effective leadership programming as well as awareness of alpha characteristics and gender among college student leaders will be explored.

Specific New Refereed Article to be featured:

Ward, R. M., Popson, H. C., & DiPaolo, D. G. (2010). Defining the Alpha Female: A Female Leadership Measure. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 17 (2).


The change in women’s social roles has led to the development of the concept of the alpha female, but currently there is no way to measure the construct.  The present study discusses the development of a 14-item measure of being an alpha female consistent with current definitions and examines the measure with respect to similar constructs (e.g., self-esteem, emotional intelligence, leadership, sex-role).  The three scales of the Alpha Female Inventory (leadership, strength, and low introversion) were positively related to self-esteem, emotional intelligence, the Student Leadership Profile Inventory, and masculine traits as measured by Bem’s Sex-Role Inventory.  The Alpha Female Inventory can be used to identify women who embody alpha leadership qualities and aid in our overall understanding of women as leaders.