Modeling cultural context for aspiring women educational leaders

Jill Sperandio (College of Education, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA)

Journal of Educational Administration

ISSN: 0957-8234

Publication date: 28 September 2010



The purpose of the paper is to discuss and examine the development of frameworks and models to guide future research into studies of women's paths to educational leadership worldwide.


A grounded theory approach to the development of a model of the factors and their interaction that determine the path to educational leadership for women is adopted, drawing on existing research for world‐wide studies.


Past studies in this field have focused on identifying barriers and opportunities that are gender sensitive. With an increasing interest in developing educational preparation programs that are context and gender specific, there is a need to provide research frameworks to allow for meaningful comparisons between contexts to identify commonalities and differences, and for models to predict the likely outcomes of interventions in current procedures for drawing women into educational leadership. The model presented in the paper allows for the identification of those factors in any given context that influence the success of women aspiring to leadership.

Social implications

Understanding the culturally determined interaction of social and institutional factors that create unique contexts for career building is a prerequisite of developing leadership preparation for women designed to increase their successful entry into, and practice of, school leadership and to rectify their under‐representation in this field worldwide.


Conceptualizing educational leadership for women at an international level is a newly emerging theme that this paper hopes to advance.



Sperandio, J. (2010), "Modeling cultural context for aspiring women educational leaders", Journal of Educational Administration, Vol. 48 No. 6, pp. 716-726.

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