Perceived Barriers to Female Advancement in Higher Education

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Studies and Research

First Advisor

W. Lee Pierce

Advisor Department

Educational Studies and Research


This study examined the experiences of male and female administrators in four comprehensive universities in Mississippi. Specifically, this study researched the perceptions of male and female administrators about barriers that impact the career advancement of females into high level administrative positions. Three broad conclusions were reached in this study. First, findings revealed significant differences between genders in their perceptions of barriers to female mobility in the hierarchy of higher education institutions. Second, it revealed that despite the existence of national studies and legal efforts to combat gender inequity, females still are treated differently and advance less than their male counterparts. Third, this study confirmed that organizational structure and environment have the capacity to influence the behavior and experience of women. Therefore, organizational leaders can positively impact female numbers, position, and power in higher education by hiring based on qualifications and not gender.