Do Candidates’ Gender and Professional Experience Influence Superintendent Selection Decisions?

Type: Article
Topics: Equity, Journal of Scholarship and Practice

January 01, 2018

With superintendents being overwhelmingly White, male, career educators, investigations into what factors contribute to the homogeneous composition of the position are warranted.

This study examined whether superintendent candidates’ and school board chairpersons’ gender and candidates’ professional background impact resume screening decisions.

Chairpersons were selected randomly from across the United States to receive one of six types of hypothetical superintendent candidates’ resumes and respond to a survey requiring subjects to rate their likelihood of recommending the candidate for an interview.

Variables examined were:

  • candidates’ gender
  • professional experience
  • gender-similarity with the chairperson

An ordinal logistic regression was used to identify differences between groups.

Results do not support the existence of gender-related bias by chairpersons but did find a preference for traditional candidates.

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Patrick Jarrett, PhD, Principal Northwest MS Greenville, SC

Henry Tran, MPA, PHR, PhD, Asst Prof Dept of Edu Leadership & Policies University, Columbia, SC

David G. Buckman, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Educational Leadership,  Kennesaw, GA