Accession Number:



Leaning In: Accession and Retention of Female Air Force Intelligence Officers

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Master's Thesis]

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The United States is facing a return to great power competition with rising regional powers and technological advancements of increased automation, hypersonic weapons, networked sensors, and artificial intelligence, which has the potential to change the character warfare. Due to this shifting global and technological landscape, the United States Air Force must attain and retain the best talent from across the country to meet our nations demands. Women account for over fifty percent of the college-educated workforce, but only twenty-one percent of the officers in the Air Force. The rate of female officers joining the Air Force has remained stagnant for decades. However, the intelligence officer career field has produced a statistically significant higher percentage of female officers across grades from O-1 to O-6 over the last fifteen years. This project strives to answer the following research questions Why is the intelligence career field able to attain and retain female officers in higher proportions than the Air Force average Are there remaining obstacles for continued service for these officers Through empirical data and research, this study highlights the importance of career interest, career path flexibility, strong female representation, mentorship, and female role models, which allows female Air Force intelligence officers to succeed and thrive in a traditionally male-dominated environment.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Intelligence
  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]