BREAKING THROUGH THE GLASS CEILING: PERCEPTIONS OF BARRIERS AND SUCCESSES OF FEMALE SUPERINTENDENTS IN TEXAS
Benson, Terri Cabbell 1976-
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In Texas, women account for 75% of educators and 18% of superintendents of public school systems. The purpose of this study was to identify career pathways of six female Texas superintendents and their perceptions of barriers and successes in ascension to superintendency. Participants were six female Texas school superintendents who responded to a survey instrument and participated in a focus group process. Responses were categorized into themes and codes to illuminate participant perceptions of pathways, barriers, and successes in the superintendency. Results indicated that facilitating factors were family support, prior experience, and doctoral education. Participants claimed no overt barriers. However, identified inadvertent barriers were familial obligations and societal expectations of women. These results indicate the need for the identification of future leaders using the identified external and internal influences for women and then the utilization of mentorship and guidance along appropriate career pathways in order to facilitate career advancement.