This qualitative study explored how feminism as a social identity impacts how women interpret their career and life experiences. The overarching research question that guided the study was: How do feminist-identified women make sense of their feminist identity, life experiences, and career path? The theoretical framework that provided the lens for the study included feminist, multicultural, intersectionality, and career development theories. Two distinct bodies of literature were reviewed to provide a foundation for the study: (a) women's career development, in particular, the supports and barriers experienced, and (b) feminist identity, including influences to adopting the feminist label and factors associated with a feminist identity such as the expectation of egalitarian relationships. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was the research design and informed the data collection and analysis. Eight college-educated and feminist-identified women participated in the study and data were collected through semi-structured interviews. Four themes emerged through the data analysis: (a) personal journey to feminism, (b) community of support, (c) adversity experienced, and (d) empowerment and authenticity. Although there were a few limitations around generalizability, the findings suggest a connection between feminist identity and career choices as well as the positive impact women can have on other women through providing inspiration, mentoring, and support.
Date of Degree
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Counseling and Student Personnel
Diekmann, K. (2015). Feminist Identities: Career Choices and Experiences of College-Educated Women [Doctoral dissertation, Minnesota State University, Mankato]. Cornerstone: A Collection of Scholarly and Creative Works for Minnesota State University, Mankato. https://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/etds/409/
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