The latest studies show that 51% of all managerial positions are held by women, but less than 20% of women hold Fortune 1000 board positions nationwide in the United States. Only 2% of women hold CEO positions in Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 companies. The purpose of this study was to understand what it is like to be a female Fortune 1000 board member in such a male-dominated arena. A 10-item questionnaire designed for this study was used to conduct the interviews. Common themes and key attributes were examined and described in detail. All 6 board members stated that their relationships, experience, and collaborative natures helped them to excel in their roles. A positive culture and a competent CEO were some organizational strengths that were discussed. Personal and professional challenges included lack of time, discrimination, and keeping up to date with their fields. Some recommendations for Fortune 1000 companies that the researcher would give would be to groom more women in lower roles for CFO, CEO, and board roles through succession planning and to encourage executive recruiters and board chairs to be open to more women on boards.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership; Women executives -- United States

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Schmieder-Ramirez, June;