Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

Ed.D. Educational Leadership


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education


Johnson, Ane Turner

Committee Member 1

Cox, Carmen Jordan

Committee Member 2

Bryant, Kelly Duke


African American, carelessness, higher education, phenomenology, South African, women


Women college administrators; African American college administrators


Higher Education Administration


The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore and compare the lived and career experiences of Black women higher education administrators in the United States and South Africa. This comparative study elucidated the women’s experiences while giving voice to Black women, whose experiences and status are often further marginalized under new managerial practices. This research used the theoretical lenses of intersectionality and carelessness, a new managerial practice within higher education, to uncover the challenges, opportunities, and contexts experienced by these women within gendered, racialized organizational structures and practices. A major finding of the research is that Black women shared many commonalities in their lived and professional experiences, despite context. Constructs such as cultural, organizational, and community expectations informed their career paths and lived experience, while also playing an integral role in the participant’s developing malleable extensions of their identity. The participants effortlessly transitioned through the various roles prescribed to them as Black women in their community and as leaders on campus, to help them negotiate highly gendered institutional culture.