Publication Date

Spring 5-18-2023

Document Type

Action research project: Open access

Degree Name

MA Higher Education Leadership


Leadership Studies


The purpose of my action research was to gain a better understanding of working mothers at the University of San Diego (USD) and the influence of institutional policies in their lives. My research question was: What can I learn from the lived experiences of those who identify as women and mothers and work at USD that will bring awareness and changes to the policies and practices affecting them? As a mother working at USD, this research has significance in my life. Participants included 14 full-time staff and administrators with children 5 years old or younger. My findings indicate USD mothers are stressed and frustrated with pay, limitations of sick and vacation time, murkiness of maternity leave policies, and lack of affordable childcare; they also crave flexible schedules and additional campus resources. Recommendations include revisions to institutional policy to be submitted to Human Resources.

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