Date of Award

Spring 2018

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Elizabeth Fisher Turesky, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Georgia Nigro, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Daniel Jenkins, Ph.D.

Keywords

confidence, grit, labyrinth, mentoring, millennials, sponsorship, LOS

Abstract

This mixed methods case study explored the impact of grit and sponsorship experiences of millennial females on their leadership aspirations and attainment of leadership positions. Six females in the same field of occupation in New England served as the participants. The case study focused on the experiences of two participants (one with the highest grit score and one with the lowest grit score). The participant with the highest grit score demonstrated both the attainment of a leadership position and aspirations for greater leadership positions in the future, as compared to the less gritty individual who had attained a leadership position but did not aspire to any future leadership positions beyond the current one. Both participants cited that their confidence increased when they had a sponsor and decreased when they did not have a supportive superior in the workplace. The combination of high grit and sponsorship led to the attainment of a leadership position and future leadership aspirations. The participant with low grit and a sponsorship experience attained a leadership position, but had no aspirations for future leadership positions beyond the present one. This study provides empirical data about grit and sponsorship for millennial females and identifies that sponsorship is a driver of success for leadership attainment and grit is a driver of success for increased leadership aspirations.

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