Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Douglas Lepisto

Second Advisor

Derrick McIver


This research project shares the discoveries of the driving forces behind a woman’s success in work and the barriers that keep her from reaching leadership positions. Organizations and society want more female leaders as it benefits them in terms of diversity and profit potential, yet there has been very little progress towards gender equality in leadership. I\approached this thesis with the research question: “How do women achieve success in leadership while balancing family and other responsibilities? What impact does a romantic partner relationship have on her path to leadership? What factors contribute to or take away from her ability to reach her goals?” I intend to show that for a woman to work towards reaching her goal successfully she must have two key things: 1. She must have a strong desire to achieve a goal. And 2. She must possess a strong ability to focus on achieving her goal. Women need access to both these factors to maximize their chances for successfully reaching their goals. This paper includes analyses of a personal interview with a woman executive and her romantic partner. This is to show the impact of possessing both focus and ability to maintain a strong desire in a woman’s career. This interview gives specific tactics and strategies the couple employ which have allowed (and which she attributes) to her success in her career and their success as a couple with their family.

There are many barriers to a woman being kept from reaching her goal. There are Internal aspects which influence one’s desire to achieve and there are External aspects around women that influence their ability to focus on working toward their goal. While it is possible to reach a level of success with a weak desire, or a weaker ability to focus, this will be much more difficult for her to achieve. Research in this paper also includes secondary research to establish background on the current situation of women in the working world as well as to discuss some of the barriers to women today.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Restricted

Restricted to Campus until