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Gender and Leadership in Education

Women Achieving Against the Odds

Kay Fuller and Judith Harford

The under-representation of women in leadership positions in educational settings is a widely acknowledged, complex phenomenon that seems to persist, despite the fact that teaching as a profession is dominated by women. Over recent decades, scholars have investigated the factors contributing towards this under-representation, with a particular focus on the personal, organisational and social/cultural levels.

This volume has been compiled in honour of Marianne Coleman, Emeritus Reader in Educational Leadership and Management at the Institute of Education, University College London. She is widely regarded as one of the most significant scholars globally in the field of gender and educational leadership, forging the research agenda and mentoring some of the scholars who contribute essays here. Amongst the key questions the book asks are: Why does society continue to accept male leaders as the norm? What barriers do women who seek leadership positions face? What supports do women require in order to encourage them to pursue leadership positions? How do women working in leadership positions conceive of their role as leaders? How might women’s educational leadership be best supported at an institutional level?


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In Books, on the Screen, and in Games: Leadership and Gender Stereotypes Shape Images of Young Women Leaders (Margaret Grogan and Klara Wahlster)


Margaret Grogan and Klara Wahlster In Books, on the Screen, and in Games: Leadership and Gender Stereotypes Shape Images of Young Women Leaders In the complexity of social relationships that exist in the workplace, stereotypes allow us to make quick and easy judgements of individuals based on the ways in which we categorize people […] lead[ing]to an emotional response of prejudice […]. — Coleman 2011: 35 Gender stereotypes still exert a great deal of power discouraging or pre- venting women from pursuing leadership opportunities in education. Marianne Coleman, renowned educational leadership scholar develops this theme in several of her works. This chapter builds on Coleman’s work by exploring current images of young women in selected United States book series and their movie versions, games and an Australian book series. The purpose of this limited exploration is to consider whether contemporary young women are being offered less traditional ways of being in the world through fiction than their mothers and older sisters were. This is not an in-depth critique of the selected works. It is, rather, an exploration of the ideas and images that are presented in them. Some questions that guide this exploration include: Are the gender stereotypes identified by Coleman still alive and well in these works? What about the leadership ones? How and where might gender and leadership stereotypes intersect? Are these images likely to influence the next generation of women positively or negatively as they consider leadership options? Margaret and her daughter, Klara, have had an ongoing conversation...

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