The Principal Route: Gender Matters
Gender Matters: Women’s Experience of the Route to Principalship in Ireland
Research suggests that school leadership globally remains a male dominated arena and that the image of the leader continues to remain effectively vested in the masculine. This situation obtains despite the fact that teaching is a profession which, in many countries, is dominated by women. In the Irish context, men continue to hold a disproportionate number of senior posts across all sections of education with men twice as likely as women to accede to the position of post-primary school principal. Why then is a profession dominated by women promoting a disproportionate number of males to the ranks of its leadership? This is a complex field involving the intersection of a range of influences of a cultural, societal, organisational and personal nature and it is in the analysis of ‘what lies between’ as opposed to the scrutiny of any one variable that new knowledge and understanding will be gleaned. Over recent decades, feminist researchers have attempted to identify the impediments to principalship accession, with a particular emphasis on the perceived enabling and constraining influences. This scrutiny paves the way for a closer inspection of women’s interpretation of principalship and the actions they take when forging a career path.
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Fuller, K. and Harford, J. (eds.). Gender and Leadership: Women achieving against the Odds
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