“Boy, I wish I were a man!”: Navigating Principalship as a Woman

  • Kenneth MacKinnon Toronto District School Board

Abstract

This case study follows Maggie, a principal of a large urban elementary school as she navigates principalship as a woman, revealing various gendered discourses along the way. Maggie recognizes gender as a factor which has an effect on her leadership and makes distinctions between male and female ways of leading. She reveals some of the barriers she faces as a female principal and refers to discourses of strength, for example, which act upon her leadership. This case study, and the teaching notes that follow, encourage both practising and prospective leaders to consider gender as a factor which impacts the daily work of elementary school principals.

References

References

Appalbaum, S. H., Audet L., Miller, J. C. (2003). Gender and leadership? Leadership and

gender? A journey through the landscape of theories. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 24(1), 43 - 51. doi: 10.1108/01437730310457320

Askehave, I., Korning Zethsen, K. (2014). Gendered Constructions of Leadership in Danish Job

Advertisements. Gender, Work and Organization, 21(6), 531 – 545. doi:10.1111/gwao.12053

Coleman, M. (2003). Gender & leadership style: the self-perceptions of secondary headteachers. MiE, 17(1), 29 - 33. doi: 10.1177/08920206030170010901

Eagly, A. H., Karau, S. J., Johnson, B. T. (1992). Gender and Leadership Style Among

School Principals: A Meta-Analysis. Educational Administration Quarterly, 28(1), 76 - 102. doi: 10.1177/0013161X92028001004

Lumby, J., Azaola, M.C. (2014). Women principals in South Africa: gender,

mothering and leadership. British Educational Research Journal, 40(1), 30-44. Doi: 10.1002/berj.3028

Oplatka, I. (2016). The Research on Gender in the Field of Educational Management: A

Journals-Based Historical Overview of an Area of Study. In: Fuller, K., Harford, J. (eds) Gender and Leadership in Education: Women Achieving Against the Odds. Bern: Peter Lang AG, International Academic Publishers, 7 – 36.

Pittinsky, T. L., Bacon, L. M., Welle, B. (2007). The Great Woman Theory of Leadership? Perils

of Positive Stereotypes and Precarious Pedestals. In: Kellerman, B., Rhode, D. L. (eds) Women and Leadership. San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons Inc., 93-125.

Reynolds, C. (ed) (2002). Women and School Leadership: International Perspectives. Albany:

State University of New York Press.

Shilton, C. H. (2015). Submission to Steering Committee on Gender Wage Equality.

Ontario Principals’ Council.

Shakeshaft, C. (2006). Gender and Educational Management In: Skelton, C., Francis, B.,

Smulyan, L. (eds) The Sage Handbook of Gender and Education. London: Sage Publications Ltd, 497 - 511.

Published
2019-07-29