Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Shannon Cleverley-Thompson, Ed.D.

Second Supervisor

Dr. Daniele Lyman-Torres


The purpose of this study was to explore and understand the lived experiences of women who have ascended to executive leadership positions in the North American alcohol industry. Several data collection methods were utilized to strengthen the credibility of this phenomenological, qualitative study. Semi-structured interviews were conducted as the primary source of data collection to capture the lived experiences of executive women across the three segments of beer, wine, and spirits within the North American alcohol industry. A demographic survey, field notes, journal entries, and content analysis were used to triangulate the data. Five themes emerged from the analysis, which included that executive women (a) develop an executive mindset, (b) are intentional about navigating their lives and careers, (c) build and maintain a personal board of directors, (d) pay it forward, and (e) traverse the good old boys club culture. The study found that executive women in the North American alcohol industry used a multipronged approach to navigate the glass ceiling and its barriers to ascend the leadership ladder to their executive positions. The study results provide executive women and aspiring female leaders with resources to assist their leadership journeys and trajectories. Learning about the lived experiences of the female executives may provide organizations insights to support current female executives and empower future women leaders. Additionally, by providing more support and empowerment for women, organizations may increase the retention of their female talent in the alcohol industry. Retention of female talent can be advantageous for organizations working toward gender-balanced leadership.

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