Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Urban Services - Management

Committee Director

Wolfgang Pindur

Committee Member

John B. Ford

Committee Member

Leonard Ruchelman

Committee Member

Barazandeh Samiian


Recent studies have expressed considerable interest in the representation of women in the upper-level management in the federal government. Yet, very little is known about the characteristics and attributes of women in the executive level of the federal services. Most of the studies are undertaken to examine how women are different from the established male standards, or have used different models or variables to explain the slow career advancement of the women.

Using a 1991 survey of 278 female executives in the Senior Executive Service (SES) this study examines the characteristics, personal attributes, barriers, experiences, and leadership styles of women who achieved executive status in the federal government. The findings suggest that various factors play a role in the representation of the women in the SES. This research also underscores the barriers that female executives in the SES have encountered as they pursued their career growth to the top-level administrative position. The results further suggest that the majority of women executives in the federal government identify their executive style as advocates, but display characteristics of different types of executives.


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