Date of Award

Summer 2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Public Administration and Urban Policy

Committee Director

Berhanu Mengistu

Committee Member

David Chapman

Committee Member

Katrina Miller-Stevens

Committee Member

Blue Wooldridge


The intent of this dissertation is to examine the state of representation and segregation among African American women across the workforce at the United States Department of Commerce. This study employs a triangulated research design to examine the relationship between elements of strategic planning and the employment patterns of African American women. This study's qualitative analysis includes a content analysis of 13 agency-specific strategic documents published between FY 1994 through FY 2010. This data is supplemented with a longitudinal trend analysis of personnel data for fulltime, permanent employees retrieved from the National Finance Center for the same time period. The theory of Black feminist thought serves as the theoretical framework. Black feminist thought seeks to examine how the intersection of race and gender contributes to systematic inequities against African American women. The purpose of this study is to determine if the agency made a stated goal to sustain a representative workforce, and if so, if it was fulfilled through direct, concerted action. This research contributes to the field of public administration by empirically investigating the role of strategic planning in driving workforce diversity, particularly among minority women in the federal government.


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