Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Breaking the Brass Ceiling: Women with Rank, Exploring the Leadership of Women Leaders in Law Enforcement
by Saucedo, Veronica, Ed.D., University of La Verne, 2018, 216; 10933645
Abstract (Summary)

Purpose: This phenomenological qualitative multicase study explored leadership from the perspective and experiences of women leaders in law enforcement to increase comprehension of what women in law enforcement can achieve with proper motivation and support.

Methodology: Semi-structured interviews and field observations were utilized. Data was collected through in-person and telephonic interviews and field notes. Data was analyzed through multiple levels of coding. The researcher utilized purposeful convenience sampling to identify 10 total participants and obtained a sample size of nine participants.

Findings: Data analysis revealed 24 themes and three subthemes related to the study’s four research questions. Mentoring and having a mentor and a support network were found to be essential. The data also uncovered reasons for mentoring and being mentored; the usefulness of formal, informal, and reverse mentoring; and the impact of having too few women in the profession. Building trust revealed the importance of drawing the line, following through, communication, and inclusive leadership. The themes of organizational commitment, a shared vision, caring, ego, change, and characteristics of the profession were related to leadership styles. Observations supported three themes: preparation, active engagement, and social media presence. A total of three subthemes emerged: late in career, benefits, and succession and career development related to mentoring.

Conclusions: This study identified participants’ perceived barriers as women in a male-dominated profession. Participants identified mentoring as essential for organizational and individual success. The research findings indicated that work ethic, compassion, equity, and professionalism are essential to building trust. The study highlighted effective leadership qualities women contribute to male-dominated professions aligned with transformational and authentic leadership. These findings assisted the researcher with outlining a plan for women to positively impact male-dominated professions.

Recommendations: The following are recommendations for further study: (1) include a larger sample of participants below rank of chief or sheriff; (2) include male perceptions of women leaders; (3) conduct a cross-sectional study to expand research in other organizations; and (4) conduct a longitudinal follow up study to further expand research.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Giese, Richard
Commitee: Scott, Cory, Thomas, Katarina
School: University of La Verne
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 80/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Law enforcement, Educational leadership, Gender studies
Keywords: Brass ceiling, Law enforcement, Leadership, Rank, Women, Women leaders
Publication Number: 10933645
ISBN: 978-0-438-38051-6
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