Considering the intersection of race, gender and leadership position, this study applied muted group and standpoint theory to examine communication strategies used by women in higher education leadership to cultivate influence. Using a qualitative approach, a total of 17 semi- structured interviews were collected at a large southeastern public university. The participants were women in leadership in higher education with a coordinator position or higher. A thematic analysis using open coding was conducted to answer two research questions that focused on identifying what communicative strategies women leaders in higher education activate in order to have influence and which strategies are unique to women of color. The findings indicate that practicing authentic communication is ideal. Additionally, some women of color often find themselves navigating imposer syndrome. Participant responses revealed ways in which women can leverage their position on behalf of others and the best methods to create spaces for speech. Informed by previously published research, this study bridges the gap between experiences of women of color and white women to see their communicative impact from the unified and individual stance.
Master of Arts (M.A.)
Nicholson School of Communication and Media
Communication; Interpersonal Communication
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Campus-only Access)
Lyn, Keyera, "Understanding the Modern Woman: Exploring Communication Strategies and Influence by Women in Higher Education Leadership" (2020). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 95.