This qualitative study documents the experiences of African American women leaders in the pharmaceutical industry in the context of the transformative leadership model. Transformative leadership is a theory that recognizes that the success of individuals and organizations (including pharmaceutical companies) may be impacted by material realities and disparities that exist in a larger societal context. Consequently, transformative leaders seek to promote change (Shields, 2011). Eight African American leaders were interviewed regarding their leadership experiences in the pharmaceutical industry. The interview text was then coded based on the seven tenets of transformative leadership. The results indicated that, collectively, all participants exhibited all tenets, with each participant illustrating at least four of the seven tenets. Three tenets were common to all participants. They included tenet one (acknowledging power and privilege), tenet three (deconstructing and reconstructing knowledge frames), and tenet seven (demonstrating moral courage and activism). While African American women leaders in the pharmaceutical industry represent a small percentage of industry leadership, they are impactful leaders and contributors to its transformation. The findings have relevance to both scholars and practitioners in management leadership generally, as well as to leaders within the pharmaceutical industry.

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