Factors Influencing Advancement of Women Senior Leaders in Aerospace Companies
The problem researched in this study was the limited number of women in senior leadership positions in the aerospace industry. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological research study was to interview women senior leaders in the aerospace industry to explore the factors they perceived as beneficial to their advancement to senior leadership positions in the aerospace industry. The research study was guided by a central research question relating to what professional and personal factors might have led to promotional opportunities into senior leadership roles. Transformational leadership was the conceptual framework used to inform the study. The qualitative, phenomenological approach was selected to gain insights of the lived experiences and perceptions relating to career advancement of women to senior leadership positions in the aerospace industry. Data were collected using a modified Van Kaam method, coded, and analyzed to discern themes or patterns. Findings were that the attributes participants contributed to their success, included a focus on leadership, personal development, and the importance of mentoring relationships. This study presented a positive direction in addressing the gaps in the body of knowledge related to women and leadership development by exploring the experiences of women in senior leadership positions in the aerospace industry. Implications for social change include informing organizations and women about specific leadership development practices as one way to promote more women into leadership positions thus reducing the gap between the number of men and women leaders.
0538: Aerospace engineering
0703: Organizational behavior