High technology companies have a reputation for innovation and delivering cutting edge technologies to the American public. Additionally, the ability to innovate gives companies important competitive advantages such as being able to better satisfy customer needs, respond to environmental changes, and leverage emerging opportunities. However, a company's ability to innovate is hampered when diversity is lacking. Research has demonstrated that African American women are under-represented in both high technology and in the executive ranks of organizations. This qualitative study involved interviews with 15 African American women who held or had held a senior-level position within a high technology company. They identified success factors and barriers to the advancement of African American women into senior leadership positions within high technology companies (specifically, the defense and aerospace industries).
While it appears that the success factors and barriers may vary from person to person, creating a career plan, developing oneself, finding mentors, and intentionally building one's networks can help African American women reduce or eliminate their barriers and achieve the success they desire. Recommendations include developing mentoring programs for African American women, increasing support and visibility of talented African American women, and stirring interest in high technology among African American youth. Limitations of the study included its use of a small, non-representative sample and potential researcher and participant bias. Suggestions for future research include updating the research on the glass ceiling, conducting longitudinal research on African American women's success factors and barriers, and conducting comparative research in other industries.
|Advisor:||Chesley, Dr. Julie, Feyerherm, Dr. Ann|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 50/03M, Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||African American Studies, Womens studies, Aerospace engineering|
|Keywords:||Aerospace industry, African American women, Defense industry, Executive positions, Senior leadership|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be