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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Dennis Brennan

First Committee Member

Phyllis Hensley

Second Committee Member

Estelle Lau

Third Committee Member

Fay Shin

Fourth Committee Member

Mari Irvin


The purpose of this study was to determine the barriers to advancement as perceived by women administrators in the California State University, and to identify those barriers perceived as the greatest obstacles. A twenty-one item questionnaire was developed through a comprehensive review of the literature and sent to 400 full-time women administrators holding a management position within the California State Universities. Seventy-one percent of the questionnaires were returned. Questionnaire results indicate that eleven items were categorized as “moderately important to important” barriers to advancement. Ten items were categorized as “slight to moderately important” barriers to advancement. No item on the questionnaire was considered “not a barrier” to advancement by the participants. The most serious barriers women must overcome if they wish to advance in administration have to do with lack of geographical mobility, role conflict between career and family, absence of mentoring or other support system unfamiliarity in negotiating politics within the male dominated “ole boys” system, and exclusion from the informal communication network. Perceptions of barriers were examined from the perspective of women who held different positions in the administrative hierarchy. No statistically significant differences in perceptions were found among the different steps of the hierarchical ladder. Perceptions of internal barriers were correlated to age, marital status, number of years in administration, size of institution, career path for advancement, and ultimate position desired. The ultimate position desired was the only significant predictor. Perceptions of external barriers were not correlated to age, marital status, number of years in administration, size of institution, career path for advancement, ultimate position desired; participants perceived external barriers to advancement similarly. The study provides recommendations for practice and future research.




9780599689091 , 0599689099

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