Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Johanna S. Hunsaker, PhD, Director; Mary Woods Scherr, PhD; Julia Rosa López Emslie, PhD


bicultural, diversity, Hispanics, Leadership studies, minority & ethnic groups, management, monocultural organizations, women


The composition of the work force in this country is changing from one in which the White male was dominant to one in which by the year 2000 women and ethnic minorities will be dominant. Work force diversity will impact organizations at all levels, including top management, which has been closed to women and minorities, and in particular, minority women. The diverse work force's expectation for advancement into top levels of management will present challenges to organizations. Some organizations have recognized that to remain competitive they need to manage a more diverse work force. The purpose of this study is to provide critically needed information to monocultural organizations to help them understand the organizational experiences of professional Hispanic women and the barriers that these women perceive impede their advancing into higher echelons of organizations. Fourteen professional Hispanic women from the San Diego area participated in the study. The women were highly educated: three had doctoral degrees; three had master's degrees; six had bachelor's degrees; and two had some college experience. The participants had at least three years of recent organizational experience in management positions. The study used both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. A qualitative methodology was used to examine the participants' experiences within the context of their organizations. These experiences were uncovered through participant interviews. Transcripts of the interviews were analyzed using a phenomenological process to discern experiential essences, which were used to answer the research questions. The findings of the study indicated that these participants experienced barriers in organizations, based on their ethnic and gender diversity, which impeded their career development. Highly statistically significant results were obtained from a test for concordance among the participants' rankings of twelve recommendations for making organizations more multicultural. Organizational leaders need to ensure there is support for diversity, because holding back talented diverse employees is detrimental not only to these employees but to an organization's performance as a whole.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access