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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Impact of Networks and Mentorships to Champion Women as Superintendents in Southern California
by Martinez Poulin, Maria, Ed.D., University of Southern California, 2017, 111; 10257032
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study was to understand and analyze the degree to which southern California women superintendents utilized networks and mentorships and the impact it had in their career advancement. More specifically, this study set out to determine: 1) what barriers do women perceive hinder their access to the superintendent position, 2) what professional supports are available to women as new superintendents, 3) what networking opportunities assist women in their pursuit of the superintendency, and 4) what are the best networking methods used by women to ascend to the role of superintendent. This study utilized a mixed-method methodology. For the qualitative data, electronic surveys were distributed to 45 superintendents for a return rate of 42%. Three interviews were conducted for the quantitative perspective. Participants represented a diverse background and diverse school districts. The lens of feminist standpoint theory and social capital theory informed the analysis. Through the process of triangulation, the study’s findings indicate the participants utilized networks and mentorships to different degrees and with mixed results. An in-depth analysis of the impact networks and mentorships have on women’s career trajectory provided recommendations for networks and mentors to challenge gendered professional norms, increased access to influential people in women’s networks, and defined career pathways to the superintendency in terms of demonstrated leadership experiences over male-dominated leadership positions held. Overall, this study finds hope for women aspiring to become superintendents. Women should participate in multiple networks and develop relationships with several mentors who are willing to share the access to the superintendency.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Castruita, Rudy
Commitee: Garcia, Pedro E., Martinez, Brandon
School: University of Southern California
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 78/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Gender studies
Keywords: Formal networks, Gender dispairty, Informal networks, Mentorships, Social networks, Women superintendents
Publication Number: 10257032
ISBN: 978-1-369-82219-9
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