Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
First Committee Member
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The purpose of this study was to explore the lived experiences of female leaders currently in leadership roles in postsecondary education. This hermeneutic phenomenological study was conducted to explore intersecting identities and how the identities affected female leaders’ leadership experiences and decision-making processes. Through the theoretical framework of intersectionality, I explored the relationships among females, leadership, career decision-making, and other categorical social identities. Data gathered from semi-structured one-on-one interviews and demographic surveys with 11 female postsecondary leaders sought to understand how gender and selected social identities affect career decision-making of women in postsecondary leadership positions. The researcher identified seven themes: Identity Influenced Experiences; Unintentional Navigation; Institutional Bias; Playing the Game; Institutional Champion; Supportive Mechanisms for Career Advancements; and Value Alignment. These themes described female postsecondary leaders’ experiences and decision-making processes. Results of this study revealed that identity impacts career decision-making for participants as well as insights into the adoption of various navigation processes and strategies in their career pathways into leadership. Moreover, this study has additive theoretical significance for intersectionality and leadership scholarship, and practical significance for postsecondary institutions’ continued cultivation and support of female leaders.
career decision making; female; intersectionality; leadership; postsecondary
Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Gender and Sexuality | Higher Education Administration
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Shaw, Sara, "Exploration of the Intersection of Social Identities of Female Leaders in Postsecondary Education: A Phenomenological Approach" (2020). UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones. 3957.
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