Drivers of change
: the influence of age and gender in leadership and the motivators behind sustainability in the fashion industry

  • Balázs Levente Csomay (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The fashion industry is notorious for environmental pollution, and the demand for leaders to prioritize sustainability is rising. In order to gain a deeper understanding of the traits and motivations of these leaders, this research project uses quantitative and qualitative analysis through a mixed-method approach. The study aims to contribute to the existing literature on sustainability and leadership in the fashion industry by providing in-depth insights into the characteristics and motivators that drive leaders toward sustainability initiatives. The dissertation uses secondary data from acknowledged indexes for transparency and sustainability, followed by semi-guided interviews with leaders and an online survey answered by industry experts. The quantitative data analysis focuses on the demographic characteristics, age, and gender of the leaders. The interviews and the survey study their motivations towards sustainability and additionally aim to verify assumptions regarding the influence of age and gender on sustainability initiatives. Contrary to the assumptions based on the existing literature, the data used in this research project cannot support any significant influence of age and gender on the placements in rankings of sustainability and transparency. The interviews indicate that own personal principles for sustainable business models are an important driver for small or founder-led organizations. Hired leaders tend to have other motivations for implementing sustainability in their business strategies, such as focusing on shareholder interest or governmental regulations.
Date of Award3 Jul 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorNuno Moreira da Cruz (Supervisor)


  • Fashion industry
  • Textile industry
  • Fashion
  • Sustainability
  • Sustainable business
  • Leadership
  • CEO characteristics
  • CEO demographics
  • CEO motivations
  • Strategy
  • Sustainable strategy


  • Mestrado em Gestão e Administração de Empresas

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