Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

C. Michael Robinson, Ed.D.

Second Supervisor

Ellen Wayne, Ed.D.


Although the presence of women in the workforce has increased and despite the advances women have made in the workplace, women still account for a small percentage of senior-level executive positions (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017). Federal regulations exist to eliminate workplace discrimination, but there remains scholarly evidence that discriminatory behavior has not declined but evolved into a much more ambiguous form of discrimination defined as gender microaggressions. Capodilupo et al. (2010) and Sue (2010) categorized gender microaggressions into three groups: (a) gender microassaults: identified blatant sexist slurs, or catcalling; (b) gender microinsults: subtle negative communication about women; and (c) gender microinvalidations: subtle communication that dismisses or devalue women’s thoughts or feelings. This qualitative study utilized interpretive phenomenological analysis (IPA) to make meaning of the lived experiences of the study participants. Data analysis resulted in nine themes congruent with Nadal’s (2010) the taxonomy of gender microaggressions. Findings revealed that barriers such as gender discrimination, public shaming to discredit them, limits on opportunities to advance, verbal and physical aggression, submissive organizational cultures continue to plague women even in senior-level executive positions.

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