An Issue of Representation: Increasing the Number of Black Women in Staff Leadership

Date of Award


Degree Name

Ed.D. in Educational Leadership


School of Education and Health Sciences


James Olive


This study explores obstacles to career advancement faced by black female staff in Higher education. Through interviews and surveys, key factors impacting this population are identified and a solution is proposed in the form of an action plan. Interviews exposed the issue of isolation, lack of support, and a need for early training for both employees and supervisors. The proposed action plan adopts an Africentric model of community building to provide a structure to address the three identified themes. This study contributes to an area of research with limited attention. University diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts routinely focus on diversifying faculty and student populations, while excluding staff. This mixed method research study addresses how the creation, implementation, and maintenance of a self-governing support structure is beneficial to the culture of the campus and expands the DEI recruitment and retention efforts ordinarily reserved for faculty and students.


Higher Education, Higher Education Administration, Labor Relations, School Administration, African American Studies, Access, higher education, staff, minority, black, women, isolation, leadership, promotion, hiring, supervision, cost of belonging, networking and community building

Rights Statement

Copyright © 2022, author.