Exploring the Career Advancement Experience of Black Women on Their Journey to Executive Levels in Large American Corporations
Pam Viscione, Ph.D. is a 2022 graduate of the PHD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.
Pam Viscione at her Dissertation Defense.
From L-R: Dr. Harriet Schwartz, Committee Member, Dr. Lize Booysen, Committee Chair, Dr. Kathleen Brown, Committee Member.
- Lize Booysen, DBL, Committee Chair
- Harriet Schwartz, Ph.D., Committee Member
- Kathleen Brown, Ph.D., Committee Member
Black women, leadership, career advancement, intersectionality, first and only, critical incident technique, CIT, Fortune 1000
Corporations began hiring Black people into management positions in the 1960s and 1970s following the passage of the Civil Rights Act (1964) which made it unlawful to discriminate in hiring based on race, gender, religion, or country of origin. Black men were the first to benefit from this change in the law and Black women began to appear in entry level management roles in the 1980s. Forty years later, there have only been four Black women CEOs in the history of the Fortune 1000, the largest American companies based on reported revenues. This level of representation is closer to zero than 1 % despite over 6 % of the American population self-reporting as Black or African American women. The purpose of this study was to explore the career advancement journey of Black women who achieved the executive level in Fortune 1000 companies to identify what events were most critical in helping or hindering their career advancement. The research design was an exploratory, qualitative study using critical incident technique (Flanagan, 1954). The study consisted of 20 participants, Black women who had achieved executive level in Fortune 1000 companies with a minimum of 15 years of management experience. The analysis of the data revealed two over-arching themes across the participants: the experience of being the first and/or only woman, Black person, or Black woman and a small group of sustaining beliefs shared by the Black women. These beliefs served to sustain them over their career advancement journeys. Consistent with the critical incident methodology, the antecedents or what led to the incidents, the incidents themselves, and the outcomes of the incidents were all analyzed for themes. The study data was reviewed to identify practical implications and recommendations for Black women leaders, people who advocate for Black women in leadership, leadership in companies, and people in positions in diversity, equity, and inclusion. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA (https://aura.antioch.edu/) and OhioLINK ETD Center, (https://etd.ohiolink.edu).
Viscione, P. J. (2022). Exploring the Career Advancement Experience of Black Women on Their Journey to Executive Levels in Large American Corporations. https://aura.antioch.edu/etds/892
African American Studies Commons, Business Administration, Management, and Operations Commons, Leadership Studies Commons, Management Sciences and Quantitative Methods Commons, Women's Studies Commons
ORCID Scholar ID #: #0000-0003-1488-7549
I worked for a Fortune 50 company over 35 years in multiple locations in the United States and in western Europe. My work experience focus was global supply chain management and operations management. My work experience included being a plant manager, coaching plant managers, leading multiple global teams including living abroad, acquisitions, joint ventures, and divestitures, and quality assurance including food and drug products. I worked at an executive level for over twenty years. I earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Princeton University. I earned two master’s degrees in leadership and change, one from Northern Kentucky University and a second from Antioch University, and a PhD in leadership and change from Antioch University. My PhD research focus was the career advancement experience of Black women leaders on their journeys to executive levels in Fortune 1000 companies. My professional passions include leadership, women in leadership, organizational development, change management, acquisitions and divestitures, and cultural and organization dynamics in organizations.
I am active board member for the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio, Every Child Succeeds in southwestern Ohio/northern Kentucky which enables the success of infant to three-year-old children and their families, and the business school at Northern Kentucky University. I am the CEO and president of my consulting company, Leadership and Change Consulting, LLC.
I am a wife to a lead pastor in the United Methodist Church, a mother, a grandmother, and a guardian for our family dog. I enjoy playing tennis, the beach, and actively coaching and mentoring a diverse group of leaders. I look forward to continuing to explore research and the dissemination information related to my dissertation focus and adjacent areas in various formats.