A case study of the experiences of women leaders in senior leadership positions in the education district offices

Kishan N. Bodalina, Raj Mestry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This research was inspired by two critical factors relating to women leaders in senior positions in education district offices. Firstly, women leaders are continually plagued with stereotyping, and secondly, women are repeatedly undermined by male colleagues. Although the South African Constitution and other related legislation prohibits any form of gender discrimination, inequalities and injustices against women still prevail. Women are subjected to a false notion that they lack the resilience and experience desired when faced with hard-hitting or threatening situations. The primary focus of this study was to explore the experiences of women leaders in senior positions in the Gauteng East Education District office. To underpin this study, intersectionality and feminist theories were selected. Using a qualitative case study, one of the main findings of this study revealed that women in senior leadership positions in education districts persistently struggled to balance their work and family life amidst rooted patriarchal systems and cultural traditions. These women primarily lacked the aspiration to apply for senior leadership positions, but through formal mentorship, dedication and resilience took up senior leadership positions in education district offices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)452-468
Number of pages17
JournalEducational Management Administration and Leadership
Volume50
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2022

Keywords

  • Women leadership
  • education district
  • feminism
  • gender discrimination
  • gender stereotypes
  • intersectionality
  • mentorship
  • patriarchy
  • resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Strategy and Management

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