Date of Conferral







Richard S. Schuttler


Fewer women occupy executive-level positions in U.S. companies compared to the number of men. Antidiscrimination laws have been in place for 30 years to combat the threat to gender equality. The purpose of this descriptive phenomenological study was to examine the lived experiences of executive-level women employed in the manufacturing and service-based industries to explore the persistence of the glass ceiling. Social learning theory provided the framework for the study. Data were collected from semi-structured interviews with 12 executive-level women in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. Data analysis involved hand coding and software coding to identify six themes: discrimination, opportunities, support and choices, advantages, balances, and roles. Findings indicated that discrimination against women being promoted to executive positions still exists. Most participants stated that lack of enforcement of antidiscrimination laws and quota programs could be a hindrance to women being promoted to executive-level positions. Findings may be used to support the promotion of women to executive-level positions in the manufacturing and service-based industries in the Philadelphia metropolitan area.