Defying Fake Diversity: The Career Development of Black Women Students in Predominantly White Higher Education Institutions

dc.contributor.advisorDavis, Shannon
dc.contributor.authorRamiaramanana, Aina L
dc.creatorRamiaramanana, Aina L
dc.description.abstractThis thesis explores the various factors that impact Black women students’ career planning in PWIs and the ways these factors continue to impact Black women’s post-college career planning. To answer the questions that guide this research, I conducted 17 semi-structured, in-depth virtual interviews with Black alumni of a small private PWI between 2008 and 2018. All participants identified as Black or African-American and identified as a woman at the time they were students. The analysis showed that socio-economic status, academic experiences, career centers and resources and mentorship significantly shaped participants’ career planning as students and that these factors were informed by the gendered-racial climate of the PWI. Black women students’ experiences with gendered-racial discrimination continued to impact their career planning as alumni by helping them build unique skills, develop clear career goals and build expertise in navigating white spaces. This study emphasizes the importance of developing and maintaining an anti-racist and anti-oppression campus climate in order to better the short-term and long-term career planning of Black women students and other marginalized student populations. Further, this study provides several recommendations for PWIs and higher education institutions, career centers, faculty and staff members, and future research that can be used to deepen understanding of the lived experiences of Black women students in PWIs and to develop initiatives, policies and practices aimed to enhance career readiness and planning for Black women PWI students.
dc.subjectBlack women
dc.subjectPredominantly white institutions
dc.subjectHigher education
dc.subjectCareer development
dc.subjectDiversity, equity and inclusion
dc.subjectGendered-racial discrimination
dc.titleDefying Fake Diversity: The Career Development of Black Women Students in Predominantly White Higher Education Institutions
dc.typeThesis Mason University's of Arts in Sociology


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