Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Abraham S. Fischler College of Education

Advisor

Daniel Turner

Committee Member

Linda Gaughan

Committee Member

Kimberly Durham

Abstract

Due to the underrepresentation of female minority leaders in the field of educational leadership, the scientific literature lacked evidence in understanding the experiences of those who, despite adversity, successfully secured administrative roles. The experiences of minority women who pursued and secured principal and/or assistant principalship appointments were examined using a generic qualitative approach.

The analysis of the data presented the challenges, barriers, and constraints that minority women were confronted with during the development and establishment of their careers as educational leaders. As a result of the complex intersectionality of race and gender, these leaders found themselves as the subjects of overt and covert discriminatory practices by subordinates and superiors in their careers. Among some of the practices endured were negative attitudes and disrespect from key stakeholders towards their positions as leaders, pressure to negotiate their identities to assimilate, unethical practices of promotion, and inequitable expectations for the roles to which they were appointed. While these women were able to navigate successful careers, through resolute spirituality, building of community, and sheer will, implications for further research still exists for organizations as it regards to adopting practices and policies to create and maintain diversity through recruitment and leadership appointments in educational leadership. A critical implication for consideration is the provision of mentors by school districts to qualified minority women aspiring to educational leadership roles.

Future research is recommended to conduct comparison studies that would involve minority male and White female educational leaders to identify real or perceived barriers. The emphasis of these studies would be to determine the similarities or dissimilarities of experiences between minority males and White females compared to those of minority female leaders.

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