Graduate School of Business


Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


Mark Ellis


Leadership, Underrepresentation, Barriers, Diversity, Inclusion




This study focused on the barriers implied towards Black women when they pursue leadership opportunities in the finance industry, because the demographic is obtaining secondary level degrees at a high level rate, they remain underrepresented in leadership roles. The organizational standards that may disqualify Black women from achieving promotional opportunities in the workplace were explored for insight into the workplace experiences of Black women to determine the barriers present in the work structure that may cause promotional obstacles for the demographic. Through conducting interviews, the experiences of Black women that have been promoted to leadership roles along with those who aspire were analyzed to determine in which ways the demographic encounters in the workplace implies a hindrance. The findings of this study were decoded into a set of recommendations that will be established for the use of Black women in the workplace so that they could manage to break through barricades to inclusion. The conceptual frameworks that worked to organize data into categories of work are the Black feminist theory, the expectation states theory, and the glass ceiling theory. The findings may help to advance the careers of Black women, because the recommendations provided to the demographic and organizational leaders propose strategies to promote inclusion, diversity, and advocacy for Black women in the workplace. The results of the study will contribute to addressing the need for social change within the employers and policy makers to eliminate the exclusion of Black women from leadership positions. Business practices may be improved through the recognition of any unethical strategies within the recruitment, hiring, and promotional standards of corporations that causes the remiss to a large pool of talent.

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