ERIC Number: ED361911
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Aug
Gender and Politics at Work: Why Women Exit the Superintendency.
Tallerico, Marilyn; And Others
Findings of a study that explored reasons why women exit the superintendency are presented in this document. Data were collected through open-ended telephone interviews conducted with 20 women who left superintendencies within the past 7 years and with 4 women informants, all derived through snowball sampling. One-third had voluntarily exited their positions and two-thirds had left involuntarily. Those who had left of their own volition did so because of "pulls" toward other options or interests. Involuntary leave-takers left because of "pushes," and most frequently cited political factors as the cause of exit. None saw gender as the primary cause of exit; however, multiple gender-related factors shaped both the context of the women's daily work and their perspectives on the departure. Suggestions to help retain women in the superintendency are offered, based on Ragins and Sandstrom's (1989) four-tiered model that analyzes interaction at the individual, interpersonal, organizational, and societal levels. On the individual level it is suggested that work and role-related knowledge and skills can and shall be further developed by individual initiative. On the interpersonal level, most involuntary exiters advocated increased formal training to "better prepare" school board members for interaction with female administrators. Increased attention to political skills-building and more and more effective formal and informal support systems for women superintendents are also advocated. On the organizational level, several additional approaches are suggested, including the implementation of more equitable selection and tracking practices and the creation of national certification and retirement systems for superintendents. And finally, on the societal level, the overriding need is to change traditional conceptions of leadership and gender roles so that women's contributions will be more fully valued. Recommendations are also offered to local school boards, universities, state policymakers, professional associations, and the National Policy Board for Educational Administration (NPBEA). (LMI)
Descriptors: Educational Administration, Elementary Secondary Education, Employment Patterns, Equal Opportunities (Jobs), Females, Labor Turnover, Sex Bias, Sex Stereotypes, Superintendents, Women Administrators
National Policy Board for Educational Administration, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Danforth Foundation, St. Louis, MO.
Authoring Institution: National Policy Board for Educational Administration, Fairfax, VA.