What Keeps High-Achieving Women From Choosing Executive Positions. VI. Results: Themes One – Three
Themes, Subthemes and Possible Negative Internal Factors and Behaviors
Since the findings are a result of a small sample size, it is important to remember that this was an exploratory study intended to identify specific themes for further research. Yet even though the size of the sample was small, consistent patterns emerged. Some of these patterns might reflect the times; they may be generational patterns not specific to female high achievers. However, because they consistently appeared in the data, they were considered significant to the career advancement of this group of women: high-achievers within the second generation of women to achieve management status in numbers in US corporations.
The interviews produced personal biographies that enabled the researcher to better understand the interplay between their personal and professional lives over time. Patterns that included successful practices and relationships emerged alongside circumstances that might disrupt their career development. However, the intent of the research was to discover and share the inner factors—the beliefs, needs, aspirations, traits and choices—that are keeping this group of women from moving into executive positions. These factors showed up as patterns defined as themes and subthemes and as “potentially negative internal factors and behaviors.”