Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Penny Bryan

Second Advisor

Kris de Pedro

Third Advisor

Kim Padulo

Fourth Advisor

Gail Stearns


Gender discrimination is an ongoing topic, including discrimination that occurs in higher education. Previous studies have shown female faculty experience a variety of workplace discrimination including sexual harassment/bullying, salary disparities, and lack of worklife balance. This dissertation aimed to analyze equity issues for female faculty at a private university. The researcher utilized a narrative inquiry methodology, conducting interviews with five full-time female faculty. The purpose of this dissertation was to understand the participants’ everyday stories and lived experiences. The researcher utilized critical feminist theory and leadership theory to examine the notion of equity at this campus. The findings, shown through narrative profiles, demonstrate the five women have experienced equity issues at the institution including workplace bullying and lack of work-life balance. It also found the women utilize a self-silencing voice, struggling between challenging equity issues while maintaining their positions at the university. In addition, gender issues experienced prior to working at the university were discussed, demonstrating larger societal issues in relation to gender equity. This dissertation adds to the current studies on equity issues in higher education by focusing on the participants’ stories rather than quantitative or coded data. In addition, it bridged two seemingly disparate frameworks, critical feminist theory and leadership theory, to demonstrate how these concepts can work toward alleviating equity issues in organizations.