The effect of gender and race on career advancement: A study of minority women in executive-level positions within nonprofit organizations

by Wesley, Sarita M., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2009, 146 pages; 3339302


Extant research has identified that minority women are entering the labor force at a rapid pace, only to be confronted with barriers and challenges that hinder opportunities for career growth. Although minority women have earned advanced educational degrees and in some cases are overly qualified, are provided limited chances to demonstrate their capabilities or showcase their talents. While women have made considerable strides in their careers and are more visible in managerial positions, career advancement continues to be stymied by organizational structures and gender stereotypes. Some of the most frequently reported problems of minority women are limited access to network systems, lack of mentors and an organizational unwillingness to address diversity issues. This study explored and presented the findings of a total of 20 African American, Hispanic, and Asian women, working at the executive level of various nonprofit organizations. Through semi-structured interviews, the participants shared their stories and how they faced challenges, but excelled past the glass ceiling. The purpose of this study was to identify the actual organizational, personal, influences, and barriers that minority women had to overcome to advance their careers within nonprofit organizations. It was hoped that the results of this study could be used to provide women in general, but more so minority women, with tools and guidance that could be used as a mechanism to enhance their skill sets and effectively navigate through organizational hierarchies to succeed in attaining career advancement.

AdviserKeith Grant
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsWomen's studies; Management; Organizational behavior
Publication Number3339302

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