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Title: Women in Educational Management: The Career Progress and Leadership Styles of Female Secondary Headteachers in England and Wales
Authors: Coleman, Marianne
Supervisors: Bush, Tony
Award date: 1998
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: Women constitute approximately half of the teaching force of secondary schools in England and Wales but men are three times more likely than women to achieve secondary headship. A similar disproportion of women in senior management in education can be found in the USA, in other European countries and elsewhere. Reasons for the apparent inequity, identified from the literature, include both overt and covert discrimination, which may affect selection for promotion, and opportunities for professional development within the workplace. Women are also likely to be constrained in their careers by the general acceptance that women bear the prime responsibility for domestic concerns, including the care of children and other dependants. The link with domestic life is likely to influence and encourage stereotypes that place women in a caring role in the workplace. In addition, there are Stereotypes that identify leadership as male (Schein, 1994). The research for this thesis investigates the obstacles to career progress encountered by female headteachers and considers what they, as women, bring to the management and leadership of schools. Research took the form of five in-depth interviews with female headteachers and a postal survey of all the female headteachers in England and Wales. There was a 70 per cent response rate to the survey. The research indicates that discrimination was experienced by approximately two thirds of the headteachers and that this was reported more often by those who were married, who had children and were heads of co-educational schools. However, the vast majority had been encouraged in their career progress, particularly by a previous headteacher, or by a partner. The predominant style of management of the headteachers was caring and people orientated; they tended to be collaborative and consultative. The majority felt that they had to "prove themselves" as a female leader, but that there were advantages in being a woman headteacher.
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: PhD
Rights: Copyright © the author, 1998
Appears in Collections:Theses, School of Education
Leicester Theses

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