Ed.D. Dissertations

Date of Award

Summer 6-2017

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

College

College of Education

Department

Education

Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.

Faculty Chair

Mark Jimenez, Ed.D.

Content Specialist

Doris Dickerson, Ed.D.

Content Reader

William Hunter, Ed.D.

Keywords

gender, underrepresentation, female, secondary, leadership, public

Abstract

Despite advances in political movements and societal awareness, there is still an obvious gender discrepancy among U.S. public education secondary school and superintendent positions plaguing our nation. Data indicates that most middle and high school classroom teaching positions are filled by women and yet more campuses and districts are led by men. The literature review uncovered two main categories that lead to this gap: external and internal factors. Societal bias, stereotypes, and hiring practices are among the external causations of this margin. Likewise, work life balance and self-desire to combat old organizational structure impact women internally from assuming advanced leadership positions. Based on this information, and two guiding questions addressing women’s challenges and perceptions were explored, and an anonymous survey of current and aspiring leaders from three Houston, Texas area public school districts was administered. The results demonstrate a correlation to the two categories discovered through the literature review and key findings were generated to gain more understanding into the gender gap. The study includes direct comments and experiences provided by the study group. More importantly, the study provided viable insight into steps and further study options that can be generated to continue the conversation addressing a more balanced leadership profile.

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