This study explored the intersectionality of ethnic-racial identity and leadership identity in Asian American Women Leaders (AAWLs) in the United States and its potential impact on leadership success. Findings reveal that community, inclusivity, and growth are the elements that intersect the three pillars: ethnic-racial identity, leadership identity, and organizational climate/environment for AAWLs to embrace the ownership of collective leadership identity. AAWLs strongly desire to foster positive organizational cultures that value service, collaboration, trust, autonomy, diversity, and growth. Another prominent finding is the enthusiasm of AAWLs to share and pass down learnings and experiences through open dialogues and mentorship to fellow leaders. Junior leaders also desire mentorship, connections, and personal growth opportunities from other AAWLs. This study sheds light on the unique experiences of AAWLs from diverse industries and backgrounds growing up, aspirations from navigating and finding balance in their world of polarity, the journey for self-identity through their stories, and offering and demanding inclusive environments in organizations for professional and organizational growth.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Identity; Asian American women--Leadership; Organizational change

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graziadio Business School



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Kent Rhodes