Pathway to the President:The Perceived Impact of Identity Structures on the Journey Experiences of Women College Presidents

Gloria Oikelome


This phenomenological study utilizes the framework of Intersectionality to explore the perceived impact of race, gender, and other identity structures on the journey experiences of seven White and six African American women college presidents. Findings suggest that while gender is becoming more peripheral, the interlocking tensions of race and gender often shape the journey experiences of African American women, with race appearing to be a salient factor. Despite challenges resulting from these social constructs, the women employed various strategies for navigating the presidential pipeline including mentorship, leadership development programs, and firm assurance of institutional fit.


College Presidents, Women, African-American, Leadership Identity, Intersectionality

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