Date of Award



© 2021 Simone P. Flowers-Taylor

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Debra Welkley

Second Advisor

Dawn Mackiewicz

Third Advisor

Carolina Gonzalez


This study explored the experiences of Black female leaders in higher education and their encounters with racial microaggression. Additionally, the opportunity to understand the effects of racial slights within the workplace as either a mid to senior level leadership was also explored. Regardless of the multiple diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) trainings within higher education, Black female leaders are experiencing their share of racial inequality based on their race, gender, or both (DeCuir-Gunby et al., 2019). The unique experiences of racial microaggression encountered by Black women, aligned with the framework of both the Black feminist theory and intersectionality theory respectively. These theories were used to illustrate the daily occurrences of racial microaggression, within the workplace settings, where Black female leaders are not always seen as an equal to their White colleagues. Results of the study revealed that stereotypes can create a discomfort within the workplace, especially for a mid or senior level leader who is expected to remain professional regardless of their experiences with racial slights. The educational accomplishments of each participant, in addition to their professional years of experience, have been questioned or undermined either by their colleagues or subordinates. Participants expressed their experience of emotional distress caused by racial microaggression, along with a wage gap as part of their lived experience as they navigate the impact of microaggressions. Recommendations include dismantling racial microaggression within the workplace with more in-depth DEI training, along with promoting accountability towards colleagues who partake in racial slights within the workplace.


Ed.D. Dissertation