Date of Graduation

Winter 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


School of Education


Leadership Studies


Organization & Leadership EdD

First Advisor

Patricia Mitchell

Second Advisor

Walter Gmelch

Third Advisor

Greggory Johnson III


Empirical evidence is needed to discern the reasons for inequities among those with doctorates hired in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. It is necessary to create a successful and motivational atmosphere for various types of female leaders who are seeking opportunities to become leaders, especially in STEM fields. This qualitative-method study used an exploratory design. The study first sought to gather information about female STEM professors’ experiences through open-ended qualitative interviews to explain gaps in details of women’s experiences as professors in STEM departments of universities. Second, the researcher sought to discern common themes in interview responses for the study to report on data analysis and findings. This research built on educational-leadership and educational-psychology theories and perspectives where the research problems closely follow the research questions. The data collection involved one-to-one interviews with female professors of universities, and interview responses and observations guided the data analysis and findings. Most interpretation rested on coding similar themes and trends discovered during the transcription of interview responses. This study explored the deep internal vulnerabilities of female professors working on highly competitive campuses.