Perceptions of challenges and barriers to career advancement by women administrators in the University of North Carolina System

Katina Michelle Blue, Fayetteville State University

Abstract

While women have made significant inroads and gains in the twentieth century, there remain challenges and barriers in regard to their satisfaction with career advancement opportunities. This mixed-method research study investigated perceptions of challenges and barriers to career advancement by women administrators at Group 2 institutions in the University of North Carolina System (UNC System). Group 2 institutions were more representative of higher education institutions across the United States and have a history of promoting and hiring women administrators. The sample was limited to Group 2 women Senior Academic and Administrative Officers, with job titles classified as Tier I and II. Tier I and II positions were categorized by the UNC System Board of Governors. The electronic survey yielded a response rate of 27%. The major challenges and barriers to career advancement identified by the survey included gender, lack of opportunities, lack of mobility, family and children responsibilities, salary and benefits, and nature of institution, leadership and politics. Using Pearson's Chi-square test, the survey responses were compared by race and years of experience. Statistical significance was found and the null hypothesis was accepted when variables race or ethnicity and family and children responsibilities were compared by race. Eighty-six percent of the respondents shared that race or ethnicity were not barriers to career advancement, while 58% agreed that family and children responsibilities neither were barriers. Statistical significance was also found and the null hypothesis was rejected, when the variable lack of opportunities at their current institution was compared by years of experience. Forty-six percent of women said lack of opportunities at their current institution was a barrier to career advancement. To complement the quantitative study, semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with a purposeful selection of 9 SAAO Tier I women administrators from the same institutions. Challenges and barriers to career advancement identified by the interviewees were lack of mentoring and talent management.^

Subject Area

Education, Higher Education Administration|Education, Leadership|Women's Studies

Recommended Citation

Blue, Katina Michelle, "Perceptions of challenges and barriers to career advancement by women administrators in the University of North Carolina System" (2014). ETD Collection for Fayetteville State University. AAI3581421.
http://digitalcommons.uncfsu.edu/dissertations/AAI3581421

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