ORCID Identifier(s)


Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration


Business Administration

First Advisor

J. Wendy Casper

Second Advisor

V. Alison Hall


Much research suggests that Whites are more likely to emerge as leaders than Blacks. However, this research has primarily focused on male leaders. Alternatively, an intersectional approach evaluating racial differences in evaluations of women leaders suggests that Black (vs. White) women have more behavioral leeway to express dominant leader-like behaviors, which are generally proscribed for women. Theoretically, more behavioral leeway to enact dominance should enhance Black women’s chances of progressing to senior leadership, but this is inconsistent with demographic patterns of leadership representation in America’s workforce. Black women’s representation lags far behind White women’s, suggesting that Black women experience some yet unaccounted-for barriers in their progression to senior leadership roles. This research uses the model of stereotyping through associated and intersectional categories (MOSAIC) to examine perceived social class background as a potential mechanism that adversely affects evaluations of Black women’s fit for senior leadership roles. First, I assess the extent to which social class is a triggered associated category (implicitly linked to race and senior leadership) when evaluating Black (vs. White) women and the implications of this for perceived fit for a leadership role. I also examine whether an intervention can mitigate the adverse effect of perceived social class in evaluations of Black women’s fit for senior leadership roles. Findings are discussed regarding their individual and organizational implications.


Implicit associations, Intersectionality, Leader prototypes, Social class, Stereotyping


Business | Business Administration, Management, and Operations

Available for download on Friday, August 01, 2025