Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Educational Administration


Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Foundations

Major Professor

Del Favero, Marietta

Second Advisor

Hull, Edna

Third Advisor

Paradise, Louis V.

Fourth Advisor

Thoreson, Claire


The purpose of this study was to determine the existence of a glass ceiling effect within community colleges by examining faculty, staff and administrator's perceptions of a glass ceiling as it relates to the advancement of women at their institutions. This was done by using a cross-sectional survey administered electronically to faculty, staff and administrators in community colleges in the United States who were members of the American Association of Community Colleges. Four hundred fifty seven participants provided responses for the study. Results of ANOVA of perceptions of facilitators and barriers to advancement revealed there was a significant difference in perception between genders related to barriers to advancement, with females finding internal structural/job opportunities and organizational culture presenting more obstacles to advancement than males. Males significantly agreed more than females that a positive attitude toward women existed in their institutions. Females significantly agreed more than males that barriers hindered the advancement of women and that a glass ceiling existed in their institutions. Multiple regression analysis indicated gender was a significant predictor of perceptions of internal structural and organizational culture barriers to advancement. Work profile characteristics were not found to be significant predictors of the perception of facilitators or barriers. Logistic regression analysis indicated neither individual characteristics nor work profile characteristics were able to predict denial of promotion. These findings may be used to encourage those in authority who are able to make hiring and policy decisions to more closely examine the organizational structure, culture and climate in their institutions to foster an atmosphere conducive to productive work environments for all employees.


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