Student Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Spring 5-22-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Program of Study

Communication - Corporate Communication



First Advisor

Sarah Bishop

Second Advisor

Minna Logemann



Purpose: The purpose of this research paper is to consider the experiences of gay or bisexual males in male-dominated organizations and apply the lessons learned to help facilitate meaningful culture change in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives. This paper examines the dynamics of hegemonic masculinity, marginalization and hypervisibility as they relate to the perception of professionalism and leadership capabilities of gay or bisexual males in organizational cultures including the military as well as other male-dominated organizations.

Design/methodology/approach: This research uses thematic meta-analysis of recurring themes including numerous peer-reviewed journal articles to assess the current data on the LGBTQ+ experience focusing on gay or bisexual males in male-dominated industries including the military, police, investment banking, sports and other organizations.

Findings: This paper considers the implications of hegemonic masculinity, hypervisibility, marginalization, perceived professionalism and leadership of LGBTQ+ individuals, mostly gay or bisexual males, on the organizational culture of male-dominated organizations. The research questions take these factors into consideration and includes a call to action to improve employee engagement in male-dominated organizations. Previously researched findings in the military, police and other male-dominated organizations can be utilized to create scenarios that can help organizations improve Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives and inspire culture change.

Research limitations/implications: The findings in this paper are from a thematic analysis of male-dominated organizations with an extensive scenario of a hypothetical anonymous military veteran. Future opportunities to expand the research could include accounts of more LGBTQ+ military veterans and police officers including lesbian and transgender individuals.

Originality/value: A hypothetical scenario involving an anonymous military veteran has been created as a group discussion for organizations to utilize to apply the knowledge disseminated in this research project. The goal of this exercise to encourage dialogue as well as a more proactive approach regarding Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives in male-dominated organizations.

Keywords: hegemonic masculinity, gay, bisexual male, LGBTQ+, male-dominated, military, veterans, marginalization, hypervisibility, inclusive organizational culture, professionalism, and leadership.


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