Women’s Educational Leadership Programs: Shatter the Glass Ceiling

Angela Farmer



The construct of leadership conveys a variety of images in one’s mind. Depending on the area in which the leader is imagined, these visualizations may vary.  Militaristic leaders one imagines in uniform, following prescribed policy and a strict chain of command. The individual’s gender or ethnicity rarely dominates the position as the entity itself is the central image, with the underlying support of the strengths associated with the organization. Leadership within the political realm in the United States, as the 2016 election has shown, has begun to evolve to a position whereby both ethnic and gender variance have been embraced in such a manner that the sole political voice is no longer exclusively that of a Caucasian male. While these changes signal a clear change in the thought pattern of millions of Americans, one realm of leadership still struggles to emerge with an equal voice in leadership. Ironically, this area is known as Educational Leadership, which purports to educate and train educators to become educational administrators and lead public P-12 schools throughout the country. This paper reveals the existing gaps in administrative leadership for women in educational settings and seeks to help reveal the apparent altered response men and women find in attempting to reach a pinnacle in their career as leaders only to encounter what is often seen as a glass cliff in terms of “pernicious processes such as a lack of alternative opportunities, sexism, or men’s in-group favoritism” (Ryan, Haslam, & Postmes, 1988).  Clearly, it is time to disenfranchise such antiquated mindsets, empowering women’s educational leadership to rise at all levels, forever shattering the glass ceiling and leaving in its wake an environment of opportunity for all who are willing to respond to the call to lead.


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