This qualitative phenomenological research study examines women in Nigeria and how they continue to face enormous set-backs regarding development and leadership capabilities. The socio and economic roles that many women occupy in Nigerian society affects leadership roles, especially in the context of sexual division of labor and in decision-making. The national and family culture present prevents women to fully adapt to innovative 21st century leadership. Culture is socialized in a person through the shared values of social groups that in turn play key roles in a person’s cognitive, emotional, and social functioning. The national and family culture is one in which the value of collectivism is present and less of individualism. The national culture of work and leadership practices are based on the national culture of beliefs and practices of collectivism. This collectivist culture is deeply rooted in colonial construct carried over into the 21st century that was also translated within many families where women are grouped into subordinate roles in their immediate environment.
Cultural factors affect leadership of women and men in many ways such as in how they view their space, sexuality, decision-making processes and leadership capabilities. Women within the extended family system, see themselves as working for members of the family as well as the extended family, rather than for their own immediate gratification. As Nigeria is a culturally inclusive society, women view themselves based on their family name, responsibilities, and the societal construct of how a man or woman should or should not behave among peers, subordinates, and others in the work or family environment. Societal constructs are based on age, gender, level of education, region and family background. Decision-making relies on patrilineal family and social structures. Women foremost have to base their leadership styles on national and family culture because they affect their space, personality, attitudes, sexuality, and behaviors more than their male counterparts.