Essay on How do professional women overcome barriers Business Management

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Title The Perception of Female Executives in the Non-profit Organization and their Leadership Styles.
Problem Statement It is unknown what relationship, if any, exists between leadership styles and attainment of executive positions within non-profit organizations (Drucker, 1900; Hesselbein, 2004).

Purpose Statement The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological research study is to help identify leaders perception of females and measure determine (measuring is more quantitative) the qualifications, style of leadership and effectiveness of female leadership in the non-profit sector.

Population/Sample The systemic sampling for this study will be a representation of female executives within non-profit organizations based in the metropolitan area of Dallas, TX. The sample was purposely selected from a cross-section of professions such as education, medicine, law, nursing, civil service, and business sector. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2000, the census recorded the population at 2.5M for the city of Dallas, TX, with 50.7% of population being women. There are 197 nonprofit organizations in Dallas Texas in which 136 are women executives (Peters, Jeanne,2001). The survey population will include 20 professional women who have an understanding of the subject by issuing a questionnaire for the assessment of awareness within the subject. My intent is to interview 20 women who have broken barriers in attaining leadership positions in non-profit organizations in the metropolitan area.

Research Questions

• How have women broken barriers to attain leadership positions within non-profit organizations?

R2: What barriers, if any, did you experience while pursuing positions of authority within your non-profit organization?

R3: How do professional women overcome barriers while pursuing leadership positions within non-profit organizations?

R4: What barriers, if any, did you experience while pursuing your higher educational goals?

What advice would you give women pursuing leadership positions in the non-profit sector.

Phenomena The independent variables are leadership styles and female executives and the dependent variable is non-profit sector. This study narrowed the scope of leadership traits under evaluation to successful female leaders in non-profit organizations in order to determine whether there are specific commonalities of leadership approach and valuation embraced by this particular leader population.

Methodology Qualitative phenomenological research method. This study uses the qualitative phenomenological research method because the process includes studying the lived experiences of the participants and recording the characteristics of the emerging phenomena (Leedy & Ormrod, 2013). In recording these experiences, an interview protocol was the most effective instrument for capturing the relevant themes. The qualitative phenomenological research method also created an inclusionary nature and ability to give the participants a voice through the research process and in-depth interviewing (Creswell, 2014).

Research Design A qualitative design allows the researcher to focus on description, analysis, and interpretation by using open-ended questions to examine the research questions (Creswell, 2009). In this study, the population will be women within the professional workplace in the metropolitan area of Dallas, TX. The survey population will consist of women who hold management positions within non-profit organizations. The survey will not focus on women who are in management roles by identifying their job title, but rather include women who have been assigned managerial duties as their primary role.

Data Collection In this qualitative phenomenological research, 20 professional women will be selected to complete questionnaires and are developed through Survey Monkey and approved by my Committee Chair. I will also conduct individual face-to-face interviews. The questions will be open ended that will probe the issues in debt. The questionnaire process will be effective for collecting data because the participants were members of a homogenous group of college-educated, professional women who have the experience in understanding the effects of the pay equity. A high response rate will be anticipated from the questionnaires because the members should be interested in the activities and studies relevant to advancing causes that will benefit women.

a. Questionnaires are an effective instrument for yielding higher response rates
particularly from a population that is interested in the area of inquiry and have experience to provide meaning to the study (Harris & Brown, 2010).

• The first part of the questionnaire will consist of an agreement scale and the second part will include five questions verbally administered during the individual interview.

• Each participant will receive a copy of the questionnaire electronically and return it prior to the interview. Internet is easily accessible and an efficient mean of transmitting confidential information within a short period of time. Mailed questionnaires are a commonly used strategy for collecting data, because making copies and postage is inexpensive (Creswell, 2014). For this study, mail transmission was not selected because of the slow speed in which mail is processed and delivered and the inability to ensure the questionnaire was received and opened by the intended respondent.

• With the proper consent, each participant will have their interview audio-recorded the ensure accuracy to the responses to the five research questions. The interviews will not exceed one hour and completed without interruptions.

Data Analysis A thematic analysis will be used to capture the complexities of a meaning within a textual data set while moving the analysis from a broad reading of data towards discovering patterns and developing themes (Boyatzis, 1998). By doing so, the researcher will be able to determine the complexities within the leadership styles of female executives in the non-profit organizations.


Boyatzis, R.E. (1998). Transforming qualitative information: Thematic analysis and code development. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications

Creswell, J.W. (2014). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications

Harris, L., & Brown, G. (2010). Mixing interview and questionnaire methods: Practical problems in aligning data. Practical Assessment, Research, & Evaluation, 15(1), 1-19. Retrieved from

Leedy, P. D., & Ormrod, J. E. (2013). Practical research: Planning and design (10th ed.) [Electronic version]. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Prentice Hall.

American FactFinder”. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 10, 2014.

Population Estimates”. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 25, 2015.

Peters, Jeanne.(2001). Daring to Lead: nonprofit executives directors and their work experience. Meyer foundation.

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