This qualitative phenomenological study of the lived experiences of women leaders in the defense industry adds to a limited body of research on the topic. The study was designed to better understand women leaders in the defense industry, their informal networks, and mentoring. Fifteen women leaders from the Washington, DC metropolitan area agreed to participate in the study to share how women leaders in the defense industry were able to use informal networks and mentoring to advance and sustain their positions in this male-dominated industry. The research questions used to guide this study were (a) How are informal networks being used among women leaders in the defense industry? and (b) What are the mentoring strategies used by women leaders in the defense industry? To collect the data, telephone interviews were conducted. The van Kaam method as modified by Moustakas in 1994 was used for the data analysis. The study findings included the positive effects of informal networks and mentoring of women leaders in the defense industry. Factors that may help women who seek senior management positions within the industry were also featured. Future studies should examine the success strategies of particular groups of women (e.g., African American, Hispanic, and Asian American women) employed at the upper leadership levels within this industry.
|Adviser||Rubye A. Braye|
|Subjects||Women's studies; Management|
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