Since the birth of the United States and the enslavement of Africans in America, Black women have had to navigate challenges in various industries to elevate toward, and excel in, positions of power. From grade school to the workplace, Black women have had to contend with racism, discrimination, and inequities that have been impediments despite their level of education and experience. With little literature specifically documenting the experiences of Black women who work on the corporate side of the entertainment industry, the data acquired from this qualitative phenomenological study provides insight into these women’s lives. The study discloses some of the challenges that Black women entertainment industry executives encounter as they elevate up the corporate ladder to executive levels and beyond. The participants described their lived experiences, revealing how they moved beyond barriers, despite the societal stereotypes and perceptions of them as Black women. These professional women provided examples of challenges, strategies to overcome challenges, and recommendations for not only sustaining a long-term career in the industry, but also how executive hopefuls can mitigate the obstacles that the participants have highlighted.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

African American women executives; Women, Black--Executives; Industrial management; Motion picture industry; Television broadcasting

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Gabriella Miramontes