Kerri Heath


Although women have been a prominent presence in the workplace for over 5 decades, the struggles surrounding work-life balance still drive some women to opt out of career opportunities. Women now make up more than half of the populations at universities and in the work force, yet they are not advancing into the highest positions at the same rate as their male counterparts. This study seeks to empower women who desire both families and careers by analyzing the work-life balance strategies of women in leadership. Data collected from interviews of 22 women leaders are used to identify strategies that integrate a sense of balance in their personal and professional lives. Each subject has at least 1 child, is employed full-time and makes a minimum annual salary of $100,000. This phenomenological analysis utilizes a narrative life-course framework created by Giele (2008) which explores identity, relational style, drive and motivation, and adaptive style in order to understand the work-life balance of women. A section was added to this framework for the exploration of strategies that women implement into their lives to succeed at work-life balance (Weber, 2011). Many studies have focused on strategies women use to get ahead in their careers or in their role(s) at home, yet there is a lack of research that focuses specifically on strategies for work-life balance. Findings from this study indicate that women are more likely to be successful at juggling multiple roles if their career is meaningful and fulfilling. In addition to this, women are learning from mentors how to balance the competing demands of dual roles. A strong work ethic is another strategy that surfaced as a theme among the 22 women in this study. In addition to these 3 strategies, there are 15 more themes that emerged.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Weber, Margaret J.;