Women Leaders in Information Technology: A Phenomenological Study of Their Career Paths

Michelle Newsome, Walden University


In the United States, women remain underrepresented in senior level positions in the information technology (IT) field. Despite this challenge, a few women have successfully ascended into senior leadership in IT. Using the social cognitive theory as the conceptual framework, the purpose of this qualitative transcendental phenomenological study was to understand the lived experiences of senior women leaders in the IT field. The research question explored the lived personal and professional experiences of senior women leaders in IT to gain an understanding of their career advancement into senior leadership positions. Through the use of the modified Van Kaam method of data analysis, 6 major themes emerged from interviews with the 15 participants. The results indicated that self-efficacy, hard work, and mentorship may help women ascend into senior leadership in IT. This study may contribute to positive social change by promoting the understanding of the experiences and perspective strategies for increasing the career advancement of aspiring women leaders in a male dominated industry such as IT. An increased understanding of women senior leaders' experiences in IT could attract more women, leveling the playing field of men and women.