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ERIC Number: EJ1145470
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0032-0684
Underrepresentation of Females in the Superintendency in Minnesota
Wyland, Catherine
Planning and Changing, v47 n1-2 p47-62 2016
Public school district leadership is dominated by males while teaching is dominated by females (Blount, 1998; Glass, Björk, & Brunner, 2000; Grogan, 1996). Some may not recognize this as a problem while others might refer to this underrepresentation as a glass ceiling, a sticky floor, a concrete wall, or a glass cliff. In any case, the literature reveals females have not been found in the superintendent's office to the same extent found in the classroom. This 2014 study examined changes in demographics along with positive career influences and barriers that female superintendents in Minnesota reported they encountered as they assumed this leadership position. This 2014 mixed method study replicated one conducted by Stouder (1998) in Indiana. The 2014 Minnesota study included a survey of female superintendents and a follow-up telephone interview of select respondents. Demographic variables of Minnesota's female superintendents in 2013 were compared to the Indiana study and the 2010 American Association of School Administrators (AASA) profile of the superintendency. Barriers and positive career influences female superintendents encountered in seeking the superintendency in Minnesota were compared to the Stouder (1998) study. Findings revealed the underrepresentation of female superintendents in Minnesota, although the number appeared to be rising. Females reported they were older than their Indiana counterparts when they first served as public school district leaders. Minnesota female superintendents reported nearly all positive career influences were important, mentors were helpful, and a doctorate was not crucial to success. Among barriers, gender discrimination and family responsibilities were found to be challenging. This study of Minnesota females in the superintendency may provide educators with a better understanding of issues and barriers women face in hopes that more can secure this leadership position.
Department of Educational Administration and Foundations. College of Education, Illinois State University, Campus Box 5900, Normal, IL 61790-5900. Tel: 309-438-2399; Fax: 309-438-8683; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Minnesota; Indiana
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A