Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Neely, Cathy Lynn

Degree Name

B.S. (Bachelor of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Management


Women have made tremendous strides in the workforce over the past thirty years. More women than ever are receiving college business degrees and are entering the workforce at a ample rate. However, women only hold a small percentage of top-level positions in business. For example, women run only two of the Fortune 500 companies. This project looks to examine and possibly explain why definitions of success may be one of the possible reasons women are not reaching top executive positions. Many people today assume, ometimes unknowingly, that success is based upon money, position, or status. However, upon closer examination it appears that women and men may define success differently, which may help explain the lack of women in top executive positions. This study compares the results of a questionnaire sent out to approximately 2,000 businesswomen and other articles previously published that address this issue. Many companies are now questioning why extremely talented, top-level businesswomen are leaving their company. In the past, women withdrawing from the corporate race have been assumed to lack ambition and simply desire to have a family. This study suggests another reason- women do not necessarily strive for or define success simply by money or position. Rather they look to factors such as self-fulfillment, social contributions and family/work balance to define their success.


Includes bibliographical references.


36 pages, 5 unnumbered pages




Northern Illinois University

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