The Mentoring Experiences of Executive Pharmaceutical Women: A Phenomenological Study

The Mentoring Experiences of Executive Pharmaceutical Women: A Phenomenological Study

Author: 
Catherine Ann Burr
Program of study: 
D.M.
Abstract: 
This qualitative phenomenological study explored the perceptions and lived experiences of a sample of 20 executive pharmaceutical women to determine the impact of mentoring on advancement to leadership positions. Face-to-face interviews of 20 executive women who shared the essence of the lived experience in executive positions revealed six emerging themes to describe the development of the mentoring experience related to ascent to leadership positions. The emerging themes were positive mentoring experiences, lack of a mentor, coaching versus mentoring, formal and informal mentoring, gender, and emotion in the workplace. The themes offered information to leaders in healthcare that may assist in developing succession planning programs to impact ascent to leadership positions for executive women in the pharmaceutical industry. Additional quantitative and qualitative studies should be considered and employed to validate the findings of this sample and to further articulate the development of mentoring experiences of executive pharmaceutical women and the impact of ascent to leadership positions.
Dedication: 
I was presented this incredible gift by 20 amazing executive women. This was an awe inspiring opportunity to hear their stories and to learn about their success. It was exciting because these 20 leaders gave willingly of their time for the research benefit with the expectation that the research will help others. In some small way, this is their contribution to the body of learning. Thank you for allowing me to share your journeys. This dissertation is dedicated to all the female leaders who have influenced my life including family, friends and colleagues alike. You have taught me about the possibilities of leadership and I continue to be eternally grateful. Your friendship, nurturing, and mentoring continue to be impactful as my journey continues.
Acknowledgements: 
I wish to acknowledge the extraordinary team of people who have encouraged and supported me throughout this doctoral journey. This dissertation was made possible by the support and dedication of an amazing committee. To my mentor, Dr. Judy Bullock thanks for your wisdom, hard work, inspiration, humor, and never ending energy. Thank you for sharing your passion for enhancing the literature. Special thanks to Dr. Susan Merideth for her timely attention to detail and focus on the research. Your frequent communications, fast turnaround, and unwavering support and encouragement were impactful. Thanks to Dr. Carlton Robinson for his support and focus on the literature. You have strengthened my dissertation with comments, suggestions, and participation. Additionally, thanks to Dr. Jean Pearlman for your focus on structural recommendations for the literature review. Finally, thanks to Dr. Kelley Conrad for your support and focus on the research questions, both during the doctoral residency. To my husband of 31 years, Tom for his unlimited patience, understanding, and listening ear all filled with love. You are amazing. To our children, Bethany and Andrew, your understanding, cheerleading, and constant support in the continuation of my educational journey are much appreciated. You are my inspiration and my rock! To my parents, Neil and Julia who instilled in me the drive to be the best I can be and the confidence to follow my path. To our family and friends in Michigan and North Carolina who continue to support us with love. To the amazing woman who participated in this research study. Your courage and willingness to share your journey with me in support of the research is awe inspiring and admirable. You are the change agents.