Meeting the challenge : three women educational leaders tell their story

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Barker, Patty Jo
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta. : Faculty of Education, University of Lethbridge, 1996
Although statistics obtained from Alberta Education reveal that more women are achieving positions in administration, the rate of increase hardly indicates that Alberta has arrived at the threshold of achieving gender equity in educational administration. A number of researchers attribute the low representation to the "glass ceiling" or barriers which prevent women from achieving formal positions of leadership. Women's inability to gain access to mentors and networks within the hierarchical structure of school systems is another significant factor which many researchers relate to the underrepresentation of women in administration. Yet, despite encountering what the literature describes as almost insurmountable barriers, there are women who have survived the perils and have risen from the ashes to attain formal positions of leadership. This study explores the true nature of the female in educational administration through the lived experiences of three such survivors, who continually strive to meet the challenges associated with their administrative positions. The literature review and responses to interviews focus on three significant areas: barriers, mentorship and the leadership experience. Through their stories the three women administrators reveal how they perceive their administrative positions in terms of barriers they may have encountered, mentor relationships developed, and their style of leadership. An analysis of their experiences and a comparison to those described in the literature is documented throughout the study. Alberta Education's dismal statistics indicate that many female administrative aspirants often abandon their pursuit of leadership positions. Perhaps by providing "voice" to these women administrators' stories, women administrative aspirants will not only have the opportunity to gain insight into the scarcely inhabited world of women in administration, but also experience empowerment through their honest words of encouragement and advice.
viii, 98 leaves ; 29 cm.
School administrators -- Alberta -- Selection and appointment , School administrators -- Alberta -- Biography