Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Influence of Career Sponsorship on the Advancement of Female Heads of Color in Independent Schools
by Morris, Thu-Nga, Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2020, 164; 27837709
Abstract (Summary)

Female heads of color continue to be underrepresented in independent schools. The percentage of women of color in headships has remained relatively constant for the past two decades. The consistent unequal promotion of women of color to headships, relative to their male counterparts, has raised questions about the barriers women of color experience in independent schools and the pathways that may create opportunities for their career advancement. Career sponsorship is frequently cited as one key strategy that could improve the upward career mobility of women of color and increase their representation at top executive positions. Sponsorship, broadly defined as the act of advocating for and advancing a high performer in a professional network, is one strategy that could help aspiring leaders overcome gender and racial barriers in the workplace. Sponsorship is believed to play a role in increasing the visibility, social capital, and professional skill set of protégés across multiple professions and contexts. Because women of color are often subject to gender and racial discrimination in the workplace, sponsorship could offer a means for women of color to overcome professional barriers in order to attain leadership positions. This study presented perspectives on the sponsorship experiences of heads of school and explored how those experiences have influenced the advancement of women of color to headships in independent schools. A mixed-methods approach was employed to capture information about the landscape and dynamics of career sponsorship in independent schools and the unique narratives of female heads of color who have experienced sponsorship. Finding opportunities for women of color to maximize their access to a powerful network of sponsors could help to overcome prejudice in the workplace and potentially create pathways for their advancement to headship in independent schools.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Stevenson, Howard
Commitee: Coleman, Sherry, McKee, Annie
School: University of Pennsylvania
Department: Educational and Organizational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 81/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Education, Educational administration
Keywords: Head, Independent School, Mentor, Social Capital, Sponsor, Women
Publication Number: 27837709
ISBN: 9798662373716
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