Date of Award

Spring 5-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

PhD Higher Education Leadership, Management, Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Monica Burnette, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Rong Chen, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Omayra Arocho, Ph.D.


Black woman, work engagement, microaggressions, administrators, higher education, critical race theory, black feminist theory


The purpose of this study was to examine the experiences of gender and racial microaggressions and how those experiences impact work engagement from the perspective of the Black woman higher education administrator. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 Black women with current professional mid- or senior-level administrative positions in higher education institutions who had personal experiences of microaggression in the workplace and its impact on work engagement. A phenomenological methodology was used to reveal the lived experiences of these women. The results of the analysis uncovered six themes that described the experiences of microaggressions, the stereotypes of Black women, impacts on and managing work engagement, and recommendations to reduce microaggressions in the workplace. Participants recommended several strategies to stay engaged at work while experiencing microaggressions. Examples included documenting incidents, leaning on support networks, and campus safe spaces. Finally, directions for future research and implications for Black women, microaggressions, and work engagement were discussed.