Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Exploring the Advancement of Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Executive Management Positions in the Aerospace Industry: Strategies Identified by Women That Enable Success
by Thomas, Michaelyn, Ed.D., University of La Verne, 2017, 236; 10619430
Abstract (Summary)

Purpose. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to identify barriers for women to advance into executive management positions in STEM professions, and to identify strategies deemed to be effective for women to advance into STEM executive management positions, by women currently in STEM executive management positions in the aerospace industry.

Conceptual Framework. The conceptual framework included 3 concepts: (a) cultural and societal factors; (b) mentorship, sponsorship, and networking; and (c) motivation and power levels. These concepts are connected to barriers women face when entering leadership and efforts to empower women entering leadership in the aerospace industry.

Methodology. This was a qualitative case study utilizing the transformative framework. The participants were 7 women in STEM executive management position in the aerospace industry. The participants responded to 8 open-ended questions designed to reveal barriers women in STEM executive management positions face and to highlight strategies deemed to be effective for women to advance into STEM executive management positions in the aerospace industry.

Findings. Through data collection and analysis, the data indicated major themes consisting of work performance, big picture, strong work ethic, underrepresentation, and trusted networks. Other themes emerged such as diversity of thought, advocacy, mentorship, credibility, no plan for executive management, and unfavorable perception.

Conclusions and Recommendations. The findings revealed that 5 major themes emerged from the data analysis pertaining to barriers women face to career advancement and effective strategies used by successful women in STEM executive management positions in the aerospace industry. It is recommended that this qualitative case study be replicated with a larger sample population. Additionally, future studies could explore other populations that would directly benefit from women in STEM executive management positions, such as men, millennials, aspiring women leaders, and other key stakeholders in the aerospace industry.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Judson, Shawn
Commitee: Johnson, Janelle, Lawe, Kim
School: University of La Verne
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 79/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Womens studies, Management, Gender studies
Keywords: Aerospace, Executive management, Science technology engineering mathematics, Women in aerospace, Women in leadership, Women in stem
Publication Number: 10619430
ISBN: 9780355245202
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