Carla Rocha


In light of the recent economic crisis, much of the government/media focus on the financial services industry has focused on regulatory issues (Obama, 2009). However, many individuals who are currently employed in the industry are concerned not only with the regulatory environment, but also with the slow progression towards greater gender equality (Bennhold, 2009; The National Council for Research on Women, 2009). The purpose of this study was to compare and contrast gender role expectations of men and women directors in the financial services industry. The researcher investigated the perceived effects of social role theory as it relates to socialization expectations and structural/cultural expectations (occupational and family expectations). Much of the existing research on the financial services industry stems from non-academic sources. Although many authors, including this researcher, frequently cite these sources, it is necessary to add to the academic research. Also, most of the current research was conducted solely about the female perspective. Many of the issues that have come to light in the industry have been due to female concerns in the 1990s, thus creating numerous reports on women's perspectives. This study attempts to gain the perspective of both women and men in the industry to hope to understand differences and/or similarities of their experiences. To conduct the study, the researcher utilized a qualitative research design and a phenomenological approach by interviewing six women and six men directors in a financial services firm. This study used a semi-structured interview format. To analyze the data, the researcher used a modification of the Van Kamm Method of analysis of phenomenological data, as presented by Moustakas (1994), while being incorporated into Giorgi's (1997) 5-step phenomenological analysis. The results of this study indicated that there is no simple answer regarding the gender role expectations of directors in the financial services industry. The lived experiences of the directors do show that even though their situations are similar in nature, each director experiences and interprets them differently. No single participant expressed the exact same opinions, experiences, or expectations throughout the entire study to another participant.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership; Financial services industry; Women executives

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Weber, Margaret J.;