Gender and Leadership: Female superintndents and the struggle for social justice.
Women make up the majority of personnel in today’s school systems yet few hold the highest position, superintendent. In one southern state, of the 133 superintendents, 22 % were women (State Department of Education, 2009). However, in comparison to the number of women who begin their careers in education, there is still a wide disparity between the percentage in the ranks and the percentage that are leading schools as superintendents (Kamler, 2006). One of the reasons for the lack of women in upper level administration is the lack of mentoring formal or informal, for women to advance to the position of school superintendent. Grogan (2000) believed the need for increased knowledge and skills to help them make sense of the vast amounts of information in the position of superintendent is an important concern of the 21st century leader. Therefore, mentoring becomes essential in providing guidance and support for women who aspire to this position.
This study examined the career and psychosocial mentoring functions on the career development of women superintendents serving in a rural southern state in 2009. The results of this study showed that the career mentoring functions and psychosocial mentoring functions did have a statistically significant impact on the careers of female superintendents, in particularly the career mentoring function of coaching, and the psychosocial mentoring function of acceptance/confirmation. Findings from this research indicate that mentoring relationships have the potential for individuals to make successful transitions for career advancement.
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