The emerging leader: A phenomenological study of the woman of color mental health nonprofit leader

by Dyson, Jinneh T., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2013, 149 pages; 3567149


Women of color are successfully acquiring leadership roles in mental health nonprofit organizations, yet modest literature has been published on their success. Even less has been published on their unique challenges, obstacles, stories, and experiences in navigating this particular nonprofit sector. This phenomenological study explored, through lived experiences, their personal experiences with mental illness, the role of mentoring on their careers, and leadership styles that have helped them to advance in these roles. This study sought to dispel the myths that women of color are a monolithic group and that they have the same experiences in the nonprofit sector as their White female counterparts. Qualitative data were gathered and analyzed from in-depth interviews from 10 African American, Hispanic, and Asian American women. The strategies, paths, and experiences to achieve leadership status were diverse, yet the participants viewed education, personal experiences, and hard work as a catalyst for success. Ultimately, the implications of the study revealed that a passion to transform the lives of others played a pivotal role for these women, as they believed their life's purpose is to serve.

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