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ERIC Number: ED552708
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 182
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2679-8401-2
Challenges, Not Barriers: The Work and Family Issues of Women Superintendents
Reecks-Rodgers, Debra Ann
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Teachers College, Columbia University
Prior studies have indicated that qualified female administrators have not applied for superintendency positions because of possible work/family conflicts, but little research has been done on the work/family issues encountered by women in the superintendency or on the strategies they use to resolve these issues. In response, this study is an analysis of work/family issues reported by female superintendents. Data were drawn from an earlier focus group study of male and female superintendents; this is a secondary analysis of the responses of 30 participants. The study was organized around three research questions: What are the work/family issues facing women in the superintendency? What are the strategies employed by these women superintendents to balance these work/family issues? What personal and professional factors contribute to the work/family issues and impact the strategies of these women superintendents? Prior work/family studies and studies of women entering education administration suggest that the superintendency would cause conflicts to the detriment of family or workplace. A key finding of the present study was that the women superintendents did not find work and family demands to be in conflict; rather, the demands presented themselves simultaneously and all must be addressed. Role accumulation was a more salient descriptor of their experiences than role conflict. Through family and workplace resources, a balance was achieved, especially with regard to self-imposed work demands. Family demands were rarely considered untenable issues. Strategies used by the women superintendents were primarily personal adaptations to the issues. Professional experience, district type and size, and family composition were factors that impacted the women's issues, strategies, and successes. This study recommended meetings and networking of women superintendents to address the leadership isolation feelings they may experience while being mothers, wives, and/or caretakers beyond their immediate family. Preparation programs for education leadership should consider work/family issues and how to assist aspiring superintendents in addressing them. Incorporating school superintendents into broader studies of work/family issues would also be helpful. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A