The primary focus of this study was to investigate through qualitative methodology the work-life balance issues faced by women in contract management and the mentoring strategies they use. Factors that contributed to the attainment of a leadership position in the profession were also explored. In-depth interviews were conducted with 26 female professionals in the field of contract management who were employed in major private, public, and non-profit organizations. The participants varied as to their leadership role in the organizations, educational background, race, age, faith, and family life. Several factors emerged that were important in the lives of the women that participated. They attributed their success to higher education, mentors that cared about their careers, and their family support system. These factors appeared to have an influence on the work life balance experiences of the participants. The results of the study indicated that even though these professional women may have experienced challenges in their career paths, many, if not all, have accomplished a certain degree of success through learning, perseverance, work and family related coping strategies, motivation, willingness to take risks, and having a mentor. The struggle to maintain balance between work and home was continuous, especially the stress associated with families raising children. Even though women have made progress in the contract management profession, the findings of this study demonstrated that few women hold the highest leadership positions, and the field is still a male-dominated environment. Since the findings of this study cannot be generalized to a larger population, it is hoped that the results will be xi helpful to women in contract management who find themselves in similar situations as the participants in this study. The women in this study bring an abundance of talent to the profession, from which the contract management community can learn a great deal.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership; Women employees; Work-life balance; Leadership in women

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Weber, Margaret J.;