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GSEP Student Kayleigh Axtell Presented at the Joint Women's Leadership Symposium

Kayleigh Axtell

GSEP student Kayleigh Axtell hosted a workshop at the Women's Joint Leadership Symposium in San Diego. Kayleigh is a third-year doctoral student in our Global Leadership and Change program. Her research is on strategies for advancement for women who are officers in the United States military. It explores the barriers that female officers face in ascending to the higher ranks and aims to identify the strategies that they can use to help them advance in their careers.

This year's Women's Joint Leadership Symposium took place from June 28-July 1, and is the largest national gathering of women from the military and Department of Defense. Women travel from all over the world to attend. All military branches are represented there including the Navy, Coast Guard, Space Force, Air Force, Marine Corps, Army, the Reserves, and other international global partners. This year's symposium theme was Find Your Fit. 

Kayleigh hosted a workshop entitled Leadership Strategies and Overcoming Barriers to Career Advancement. Women in male-dominated industries face challenges to advancement throughout their careers. As a result, taking and maintaining a more prominent role as a female service member can be difficult. However, there are actions that women can take to overcome these barriers personally and professionally. Kayleigh's workshop was a combination of presentation and panel, which covered research on the three pillars for career advancement and anecdotal evidence about women's barriers in male-dominated industries and how to overcome them. Then, she moderated a panel of three active-duty women by asking questions so the audience could hear from women who were already senior leaders in the Coast Guard, Navy, and Air Force.

Kayleigh is also part of the GSEP Excellence and Innovation Project (EIP) program for doctoral students. As an Excellence and Innovation program scholar researcher, she was able to share her research conducted in the EIP program and share it at one of the premier gatherings of servicewomen in the world. 

In collaboration with the office of the Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Education, the Excellence and Innovation Program (EIP) at Pepperdine University seeks to advance scholarship in the field of leadership best practices through rigorous qualitative and mixed methods research methodologies. In addition to conducting research, scholars in the program develop theoretical and applied models including measurement instruments and assessment tools, training, and implementation systems.

The EIP program is led by GSEP's Dean Farzin Madjidi, Dr. Gabriella Miramontes, Dr. Maria Brahme, Dr. Theresa Dawson, and Dr. Kelly Sullenberger.

Congratulations to Kayleigh on behalf of all of GSEP!