A career path analysis of administrative women in the Florida State University System

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Educational Leadership

First Committee Member

John H. Croghan - Committee Chair


Relatively few women are employed in middle and upper level administrative positions at the university level in the Florida State University System. Women aspirants to administrative positions cope with such diverse issues as university politics, salary inequity, sex bias, and dealing with common stereotypes as to female leadership abilities. Demographic profiles indicate that women administrators need to earn terminal degrees to attain upper level administrative positions. Most women administrators follow a systematic upward career progression in the university hierarchy.The population of this study included the middle and upper level women administrators in the Florida State University System with such titles as assistant director, associate director, director, assistant vice president, associate vice president, vice president, assistant vice chancellor, associate vice chancellor and vice chancellor. The female administrators within the study were identified by administrative position, age, ethnicity, marital status, children and degrees.Quantitative and qualitative information was solicited and obtained through an anonymous questionnaire. Participants were asked to rank order barriers to career progression and present positions, and then to describe in detail a significant barrier that they encountered and how it was overcome. Open-ended questions provided internal validity to the rank order of the barriers identified. Quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and presented in frequency distribution tables. The qualitative information provided by the respondents describing the barriers they faced and overcame was given special attention in the study.The findings of the study indicate systematic patterns of career progression, common barriers within the population, and diverse solutions and strategies utilized to attain career progression in the face of multiple deterrents.


Women's Studies; Education, Administration

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