Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Guillermo Montes, Ph.D

Second Supervisor

Chinwe Ikpeze, Ph.D


This hermeneutic phenomenological study examined the efficacy of employee resource groups (ERGs) on African American and Hispanic women of color in their career trajectories up the corporate ladder. This study included 11 women of African American, Hispanic, and Latin American descent who were members of ERGs for 5 or more years. Three research questions were posed: (a) What do participants of ERGs believe are their benefits to themselves and their organization? (b) How can minority ERGs facilitate professional development and educational sessions? (c) What does the successful implementation of ERGs mean, more broadly, to the communities in which members live and work? Findings include: (a) ERGs are beneficial to women of color, (b) ERGs can successfully facilitate professional development, and (c) ERGs can be successfully implemented into the corporate structure and culture. This study yielded three new insights: (a) self-identification of Hispanic and Latin American employees, (b) the diversity of trauma based on race and ethnicity, and (c) diversity and inclusion (D&I) burnout due to lack of representation. Recommendations for practice include encouraging leadership to recognize and support the work of ERGs, capturing statistical data on ERGs, and acknowledging bias experienced by women of color. Recommendations for future research include interviewing other women of color as well as sponsors of ERGs and investigating the self-identification of immigrants.

Included in

Education Commons