Factors that affect the advancement of African American women to CEO-level positions in banking within the Chicago metro central district

by Allen-Nichols, Darlene, Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2010, 117 pages; 3413130


This study evaluated, analyzed, and assessed the reasons for the low level of advancement of African American women into CEO-level positions within the banking industry in Chicago, Illinois. Related to these observations, there were several purposes for the execution of this dissertation. The core purpose of this research was to identify workplace barriers (for example, glass ceilings and stereotypes) to African American women attempting to achieve the highest employment positions in banking. This study took a closer look at some of the factors African American woman faced when attempting to receive senior-level promotions. Further, this study sought to determine which specific behaviors, characteristics, and/or educational backgrounds can lend to the maintenance of CEO-level jobs for African American women in the banking industry. An extensive literature review was conducted to examine the perceptions and success of various leadership styles (e.g., transformational leadership) used by African American women in achieving these goals. The study sought to begin considerable academic debate on the topic that will eventually effect positive change for African American women within the banking industry. The findings suggest that many of those interviewed and surveyed saw a correlation between the culture of the banking industry and the low promotion rate of African American women to CEO-level positions. These findings are supported by the barriers identified in the survey results and interviews. The interviewees concluded that, for more African American women to obtain CEO-level promotions, they need a substantially higher level of mentors. This study further revealed that being a self-starter, showing aggression and assertiveness, networking, and having self-confidence were key components in not only securing but also maintaining a CEO-level position within banking. Although findings also supported the perception of a glass ceiling for African American women, results show a hope for African American women within the banking industry to matriculate to CEO-level positions.

AdviserMartin Lees
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsAfrican American studies; Black studies; Women's studies; Management; Banking
Publication Number3413130

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