Attributes And Characteristics That Contribute To Successful Female Leadership In Secondary Education
Rouleau-Carroll, Linda K.
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SubjectWomen school principals--Education, Secondary--Iowa; Educational leadership--Iowa; Leadership--Education, Secondary--Iowa
The current research indicates that gender underrepresentation in upper management is a broad, global issue. According to data from the Iowa Department of Education (2010), most female principals (50.4%) are at the elementary level while only 23.7% female principals are at the secondary level and 76.3% males. The underrepresentation of females can be noted in business, the armed forces, higher education, around the world, and in public education. Limited research has been done on women in educational leadership, with even less in regard to women leadership at the secondary level. Based on the large number of females represented in the teaching occupation, it would seem logical that the proportion of female leaders in education would be reflective of the profession as a whole, whether it is at the elementary, secondary level, or central office. Through the lens of Critical Feminist Theory and multiple case qualitative design, this researcher examined the lives and experiences of four women who have maintained successful and effective careers in secondary education. By gathering in-depth information of actual successful secondary female principals the researcher was able to add to the current literature and accomplish four objectives: (a) Create an awareness of the skill set, style, and background needed that allows a female educator to consider and pursue a secondary principalship, (b) Offer necessary information for female educators who pursue a secondary principalship to be aware and prepared for the obstacles and challenges they will encounter, (c) Encourage females who fear advancement in secondary education due to stereotypes and/or leave the profession due to negative experiences, and (d) Provide substantive information to administrator preparation programs that will assist in designing instruction to support women interested in becoming secondary principals.