AASA Women In School Leadership Initiative

More Than a Power Lunch: Building Networks to Support and Advance Women in School Leadership

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About the AASA Women in School Leadership Initiative

Although the number of women in education administration has increased in recent years, we have not come far enough. According to AASA’s The Study of the American Superintendent: 2015 Mid-Decade Update, there has only been a modest increase in the leadership positions held by women in our nation’s school districts over the last decade. 

Research has also shown that women tend to be superintendents in mostly the smallest districts, are older than their male counterparts,  have more formal education and professional experience and are notably considered to be 'instructional leaders.'  The data suggest a number of distinct social barriers which prevent qualified female candidates from serving as superintendents.

AASA, The School Superintendents Association has launched a new initiative called More Than a Power Lunch: Building Networks to Support and Advance Women in School Leadership. The purpose of the project is to help mitigate the impact of social barriers women face in ascending to the top leadership positions within our school systems and to significantly increase the number of women seeking and becoming CEOs and superintendents of schools.

 Project Goals   
As part of the two-year initiative to support women in advancing into key school leadership positions, AASA will: 
•  Provide enhanced professional learning opportunities and greater recognition to female educational leaders by expanding its existing women’s leadership conferences, forums and awards program;    
•  Establish the AASA National Women’s Leadership Consortium, which will convene to discuss the barriers and challenges women face in the U.S. and develop a plan to address these issues within the scope of the project;    
•  Utilize the national consortium of women leaders to provide coaching and mentoring to a select group of aspiring female educational leaders;  
•  Connect the learnings from the initiative to practice by identifying and testing effective practices from the mentoring program that can be used in an online collaborative and in developing resources for other blended professional learning opportunities for aspiring leaders; and   

•  Create a national communications awareness campaign to raise awareness about the women’s leadership initiative, disseminate learnings and promote project resources.  

This initiative is made possible by the generous support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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Staff Contact: Vera Turner, AASA Project Manager, Women in School Leadership Initiative; Email: vturner@aasa.org; Phone: 703-875-0710703-875-0710