Success and gender: Determining the rate of advancement for intercollegiate athletic directors

Warren A. Whisenant, Paul M. Pedersen, Bill L. Obenour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Since the demise of the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW), female sport administrators have continued their struggle to reestablish their place as athletic directors. The purpose of this study was to assess the rate of advancement (success ratio) of intercollegiate athletic directors, with a primary focus on gender. Athletic directors from 157 NCAA (National Collegiate Athletics Association) member institutions participated in the study. The preliminary results confirmed the expected findings that hegemonic masculinity was entrenched within intercollegiate athletics. The success ratio of male athletic directors differed from that of female athletic directors, and the difference was significant (p ≤ .05). The success ratio for men was higher than the ratio for women. Further analyses, however, showed that female athletic directors had higher success ratios than their male peers at lower level institutions. Although parity in numbers has not yet been achieved across the NCAA, the glass ceiling at Division I institutions may begin to crack as more women achieve success at the lower level institutions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)485-491
Number of pages7
JournalSex Roles
Issue number9-10
StatePublished - Nov 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • athletic directors
  • hegemonic masculinity
  • intercollegiate athletics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Gender Studies


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