Women Leading Education Across Continents

6th International Conference

  "In the near future, we shall have more women than men in charge of the vast educational system. It is a woman’s natural field and she is no longer satisfied to do the large part of the work and yet be denied the leadership"

  -- Ella Flag Young, Superintendent, Chicago Public Schools, 1909


In 2007, AASA, which represents all public school superintendents, and the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA), a premiere organization of the top 10% of US and some international universities joined forces with Duquesne University to issue a call to women from around the world to address issues of social justice, equity, and advancement in K-12 and higher education. While there are a variety of conferences that have addressed leadership in general and women’s leadership there has never been a collaboratively-designed and globally-shared picture of the status of women in educational leadership in both developing and westernized countries.

Our first international conference was in 2007 in Rome, Italy, where researchers and practitioners from all seven continents convened. Papers were prepared and presented to document 1) the status of women in educational leadership across continents by country; 2) the ways that women attain positions of formal leadership within school systems and universities; and 3) formal and informal programs and processes for the preparation of educational leaders and the usefulness for women of these programs/processes. In addition to status, papers explored access and barriers to access and examined female leadership patterns. The attendance of women scholars and practitioners from developing nations was supported by AASA, UCEA and Duquesne University.

The WLE network has convened every two years since then to expand upon what we were learning and applying it to our jobs and our lives – 2009 in Augsburg, Germany, 2011 in Volos, Greece, 2013 in Apam, Ghana, 2015 in Hamilton, New Zealand. Emerging from each of these conferences has been a book, published by Roman & Littlefield, that details the conference sessions and what was learned.


You are invited to attend the 6th international conference, July 22-26, 2017, at Rio de Janeiro State University in Duque de Caxias Brazil –themed “From Margins to Centers.” Duque de Caxias is a Brazilian city in the state of Rio de Janeiro, about 30 minutes from the international airport, Rio de Janeiro–Galeão International Airport (GIG).

 logoforwomenintlconference2017To register, please visit www.thewle.com. On the site, you will find information on registration, a skeleton agenda, and links to submit an abstract and to secure your hotel. The modest registration fee of $165 (early bird) includes: all conference materials, lunch and  snacks during the conference, a cultural day (July 23), and the closing dinner. 

You will find the hotel choices are reasonably priced, as well, averaging $65 per night. For planning purposes, it is recommended that you arrive in Rio on July 22nd and depart on July 27th.


With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, AASA is offering a limited number of scholarships to K-12 public school practitioners (assistant superintendents, district administrators, principals, teachers), doctoral students, and professors researching women’s issues, education and/or social justice. Applications for this scholarship are due no later than April 14, 2017. Click here for a copy of the application.

AASA’s Dr. Effie Hall Jones challenged us that the way to increase the numbers of women in educational leadership positions was by being in the authority positions and making those changes happen. This international collaboration is one avenue for responding to that challenge. Don’t miss it.

Questions may be addressed to:

Sharon Adams-Taylor, Associate Executive Director, sadams@aasa.org