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  • Dr. Marilou Ryder

Women in Educational Leadership

I am often reminded after being selected as the first women superintendent in Central Unified School District that it involved an extremely rigorous and challenging job search. Research suggests it takes men an average of 2 interviews to gain their first superintendent position; females usually gain access to this top post after interviewing an average of 7 times. Breaking through these various glass barriers requires a finite set of skills and resiliency. For me personally, the glass escalator was my biggest barrier. The glass escalator refers to how men in female-dominated careers, such as teaching and nursing, often rise higher and faster than women in male-dominated fields. For example 70% of all school employees are female and approximately 80% of the top school leadership posts are filled by males; white males. So it begs the question... What factors contribute to the challenge for women as they try to gain access to top educational leadership positions? Planning, Practice, Self-Promotion, Self-Confidence, Mentors, Networking, Resiliency, Ed.D. Degrees, Expertise in Leadership...

Presentation photo from: Breaking the Unwritten Codes that Sabotage Personal and Professional Lives (Dr. Marilou Ryder).

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