Female Superintendenta and the Effect of Mentoring Relationships


Women make up the majority of personnel in today’s school systems yet few are employed in   the highest position-superintendent. In one southern state, the State Department of Education (2009) reported 22 % of superintendents were women. Nationwide, the percentage is 24.1% (Kowalski, McCord, Petersen, Young, & Ellerson, 2011).  However, in comparison to the number of women who begin their careers in education, there is still a wide inequity between the percentages of those in the ranks and those in positions of superintendent (Katz, 2012).  One of the reasons for the lack of women in upper level administration is the lack of mentoring, both formal and informal. Therefore, mentoring becomes an essential element in providing the guidance and support for women who aspire to be in a leadership position.

This study examined the effects of career and psychosocial mentoring functions on the careers of women superintendents currently serving in a southern state by exploring both informal and formal mentoring relationships and the way these relationships serve as effective tools on the position attained and career development. The results of this study showed that the career mentoring functions and psychosocial mentoring functions had a statistically significant impact on the careers of female superintendents. Findings from this research indicate that mentoring relationships have the potential for female administrators to make successful career advancement.


This publication has been peer reviewed.
Publication Type: 
Journal Article
Bynum, Y., & Young, C.
Year of Publication: 
Journal, Book, Magazine or Other Publication Title: 
International Journal for Innovation Educaton and Research
Publication Language: 
Boyer's Domain: 



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