Educational Administration, Department of


First Advisor

Marilyn Grady

Date of this Version

Fall 11-17-2022


Cress, C. N. (2022). Women as leaders in the bourbon industry(14419) [Doctoral dissertation, University of Nebraska-Lincoln].


A DISSERTATION Presented to Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Major: Educational Studies (Educational Leadership and Higher Education), Under the Supervision of Professor Marilyn Grady. Lincoln, Nebraska: December, 2022

Copyright © 2022 Candice N. Cress


This study explored the experiences of women leaders who have made a significant impact in the bourbon industry. Specifically, exploration of the skills and attributes that make them leaders in the bourbon industry are analyzed. Three themes emerged from this study: (a) the influence of mentors on leadership development, (b) navigating a predominantly male dominated field, and (c) experiences of the women that lead to their current roles and achievements in bourbon. The results of this study can support women as they strengthen their leadership skills in preparation for professions that are more difficult for women to make an impact. Additionally, the results of this study can help those working in higher education settings as they support students, staff, faculty and other university affairs professionals. Finally, the results of this study provide considerations for women as they consider careers in male dominated fields as well as higher education. This study can particularly be of use when analyzing how a mentor can help women in achieving their career goals. Future research opportunities are also discussed as they relate to understanding leadership skills of women and further analysis of women who are making impacts in bourbon.

Advisor: Marilyn Grady, Ph.D.