Wayland Professor Contributes to Outstanding Book Award Winner

PLAINVIEW – Wayland Baptist University Professor Dr. Yahui Zhang authored two chapters for the book Asian Women Leadership: A Cross-National and Cross-Sector Comparison which was named the Outstanding Co-Edited Book of 2021 by the National Communication Association’s International and Intercultural Communication Division.

The book takes a scholarly look at leadership by Asian women in both Asian and western countries. Specifically, it focuses on leadership styles, experiences, opportunities, challenges and management strategies in settings such as higher education, business, nonprofit organizations and other industries.

Dr. Zhang, professor of communication and media studies, co-authored a chapter titled “The ‘first’ first lady of China and the ‘first black’ first lady of America in the media’s portrayal.” The chapter examined the news coverage of Liyuan Peng, the First Lady of China, and Michelle Obama, the First Lady of the United States, in China Daily and The Washington Post. The analysis showed that both women influenced public support for their husbands’ political activity and assisted in building international relationships while participating in various international programs and activities. They found, however, that extended roles, such as policy making, were still hampered by public perceptions of gender roles.

“Our analysis indicated that the coverage of the first ladies in the press can be seen as reflecting societal attitudes toward women, reinforced by media bias,” Zhang said.

Dr. Zhang also authored a chapter titled “A pentadic analysis: The realism, idealism, and mysticism of Chinese female leadership” in which she “explored Chinese female leadership from a rhetorical perspective.” Dr. Zhang used interviews of 10 ground-breaking women in China for her analysis. She found that despite facing the pressures of censorship, patriarchy, sexism and the marginalization of China, these women have broken ground in areas such as sports, education, public interest, entrepreneurship, diplomacy, dance and film.

“They lead through abiding by principles grounded in moral standards and by empowering others,” Zhang said. “These Chinese women embody a leadership of realism, idealism and mysticism.”

The book is available for purchase on Amazon and other online book sellers.