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Abstract

Women who aspire for principalship might encounter obstacles such as: lack of encouragement; myths about women’s work; sex stereotyping; lack of aspiration; role conflict; low self-esteem; family responsibilities; lack of mobility; and hiring and promoting practices. The research problem is to investigate the major obstacles of women seeking the principalship in public education in the U.S.; and also to explore changes of different obstacles to women’s principalship because of changing women’s role over time. Most studies include one or two obstacles; but this study investigates major obstacles or any other possible obstacles that may have not been recognized in past studies.

The qualitative method for this study includes interviews with women (a sample of 9) to obtain a more in depth understanding of the barriers women faced. The subjects are women who are certified as principals in Franklin County, Ohio. Women in interviews are asked to reveal the most important obstacles while they are searching for leadership positions. Women’s experiences were collected and were analyzed to determine similarities and differences in these experiences. The two most influential factors that prevented the women in this study are: gender stereotypical views, followed by family responsibilities.

Note on the Author

Mahshid Pirouznia earned her Ph.D. degree in Human Services from Edith Cowan University in 2006. She has many published articles in peer reviewed journals. Currently she is teaching as a lecturer at the Ohio State University in Lima.

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