Of the research on work-life balance and on the challenges facing women in the workplace, few studies have focused on the impacts of professional business trade associations on career outcomes and the development of work-life balance strategies with a Latina population. This phenomenological study explores the life experiences of Latinas to understand the challenges they encounter in their careers and in their aspirations for career advancement. The study applied the life-story framework (Giele, 2008), which offered questions from the four life course dimensions: identify, relational style, motivation and adaptive style. A question was added to this framework for this study with the intent to explore the strategies that women employ to achieve work-life balance in their life (Weber, 2011). Additionally, the study sought to obtain insight into how professional business trade associations, such as the Association of Latino Professionals For America (ALPFA), facilitate forming relationships that create support systems and strategies for managing careers, families and the demands of their communities. The participants (15) were selected from career Latinas who are currently employed or self-employed and actively engaged in leadership roles within the professional business trade association ALPFA. NVivo software was utilized to perform the analysis. The findings indicate that as Latinas they identified with their family and culture. They relied on their family support and that of mentors and networks for learning how to navigate their career choices beginning with college. Career goals were driven by their family socioeconomic situation, family feelings about education, and a strong desire to be successful. Active engagement in leadership roles is attributed to providing opportunities for growth, mentorship, and career advancement. Lastly, the women shared several strategies such as exercise, earning trust in the workplace, support circles, and setting priorities for coping with work-life balance.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership; Hispanic American women -- Case studies; Work-life balance; Professional associations

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Weber, Margaret J.;