Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Sandra Guzman-Foster


LuElla D'Amico


Alison Buck


The proportion of women in influential leadership positions continues to grow at a slow pace (Beaupre, 2022; Hoyt & Johnson, 2012). Inequalities are still present in the representation of leadership and salary wages (Catalyst, Inc., 2022; Choi, 2018). While progress is evident in regard to diversity and inclusion policies and practices in the workplace, barriers continue to exist that hinder opportunities for women who strive to achieve higher-level positions (Elias, 2018). With more women in leadership positions, advocacy for women and girls can occur, such as access to leadership development programs in schools and organizations (Beaupre, 2022; Shier et al., 2018). Specifically, female leadership programs can help to guide the participants in self-identity, strengthen their self-confidence, and nurture leadership skills (Shier et al., 2018). This qualitative study examined the experiences of young women who participated in a girl-led global leadership program in San Antonio, Texas. The question guiding this study addressed the following: In what ways does a girl-led global leadership program influence high school girls’ future aspirations? Using Charmaz’s (2014) constructivist grounded theory methodology, this study investigated the pathways eight participant alumni followed after completing the female girl-led global leadership development program through semi-structured interviews. An examination of archival data was also conducted. Stead and Elliott’s (2009) Leadership Web model, the theoretical framework for this study, supported the findings throughout the study. This study focuses on the importance of global leadership development programs for high school girls. These programs enable them to take charge of their volunteer projects and initiatives, fostering confidence and empowering them to become self-directed learners and leaders in their communities.