Women are represented by tens of thousands of media messages the public unintentionally ingests every day. Yet there is little consideration of the women behind those messages. Relatively few media scholars have examined the barriers faced by women who work within the media industry, particularly in television news, which has an historic and persistent lack of female leadership. Through the lens of social dominance and social cognitive career theories, this study examines: (1) the personal, institutional and socio-cultural obstacles female news employees perceive in the career path toward becoming a news director, (2) how current women news directors have successfully overcome those obstacles. Using quantitative survey methodology (N = 116) and qualitative interviews (N = 10), this study goes beyond initial descriptive numbers of women leaders in newsrooms to explore why the number of female managers is low and what can be done to encourage more women to aspire to become news directors at their respective broadcast stations.