Original Research

Positive affect and mindfulness as predictors of resilience amongst women leaders in higher education institutions

Daphne Pillay
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 18 | a1260 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v18i0.1260 | © 2020 Daphne Pillay | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 August 2019 | Published: 12 May 2020

About the author(s)

Daphne Pillay, Department of Human Resource Management, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


Orientation: Psychological resources are the factors that appear to have a significant impact on how leaders adapt to adversity and remain resilient. Positive affect and mindfulness are the psychological resources that positively relate to the levels of resilience of women leaders in higher education institutions.

Research purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of positive affect and mindfulness on the levels of resilience of women leaders in higher education institutions in South Africa.

Motivation for the study: Identifying the internal resources women leaders use to facilitate resilience will allow higher education institutions to prioritise these resources in leadership support programmes to assist these women leaders.

Research approach/design and method: A cross-sectional survey design was used to collect data in a purposive sample of n = 255 women leaders in four South African higher education institutions. Pearson’s correlation analyses, multiple regression analyses and mediation analysis were used to analyse the data.

Main findings: Findings indicated that positive affect and mindfulness were found to be significant predictors of resilience. Additionally, mindfulness was found to be a partial mediator in the relationship between positive affect and resilience.

Practical/managerial implications: Higher education institutions can assist women leaders by investing in psychological resources such as mindfulness and positive affect to enhance the levels of resilience.

Contribution/value-add: This study contributes to the limited research on the role of internal resources to enhance resilience in a workplace setting and more specifically amongst women leaders.


resilience; positive affect; mindfulness; women leaders; higher education


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Crossref Citations

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