Commitment to gender diversity in the workplace is based on the social responsibility of business leaders. Many industries have achieved gender diversity, while others industries still struggle. Specifically, the IT industry has struggled to create a culture of inclusion for women. This study explored the experiences and perceptions of female executives in the IT industry. Specifically, this study focused on identifying the challenges female executives in the IT industry faced and determining the leadership best practices and strategies and measures these female executives implemented to advance to executive-level positions. Additionally, given their experiences, this study sought to record their recommendations for aspiring female executives in the IT industry. Therefore, a qualitative research methodology was aligned to the purpose of examining the meaning assigned to this experience and identify leadership best practices. The qualitative method depended upon semi-structured interviews conducted on a one-on-one basis with the survey participants. In using a one-on-one interview format, an in-depth understanding and insight was gathered regarding the leadership best practices of female executives. The significant findings of the study indicated that there was similarity in regard to methods female executives in the IT industry employed to advance to executive-level positions in the IT industry. The most significant elements were taking initiative, staying knowledgeable, perseverance, mentorship and sponsorship, career strategy, expanding one’s network, and collaboration. With regard to challenges, the most frequently stated were gender biases, stereotypes, and the glass ceiling. Although the female executives in the IT industry had different measurements of success, they shared the belief that impact and influence, balance, supporting family, recognition, and rewards were important elements for measuring career success.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership; Women in technology; Diversity in the workplace; Information technology

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Madjidi, Farzin;