Date of Award
Culminating Project Type
Educational Administration and Leadership, K-12: Ed.D.
Educational Administration and Higher Education
School of Education
Dr. John Eller
Dr. Roger Worner
Dr. Kay Worner
Dr. Nick Miller
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
Keywords and Subject Headings
African American, women, administrator, perceptions, intersectionality, leadership practices
African American female educational leaders have historically faced multiple racial and gender challenges (Murtadha & Watts, 2005). These perceived challenges could bear impact on African American women’s actual leadership practices. African American women experience daily, the challenges of duality in their roles: the color of their skin (Meyerson, 2001) and their gender (S.N. Jones, 2003). The challenge of navigating the world through the lens of race and gender continually plays a part in the lived experiences of African American women; placing them at an intersection between race and gender across specific social contexts.
An examination on literature related to African American women in educational leadership positions affirms that little significant study has been undertaken on the topic of how perceptions and stereotypes impact African American women’s leadership practices and, indeed, that the field could benefit from further, focused study.
The purpose of this study was to examine the manner in which perceptions of and stereotypes about African American women impact their leadership practices. Four African American women educational administrators who work in school districts in Minnesota were asked to reflect on race/gender issues in their roles as educational leaders. The findings of this study will provide some first steps for future African American women leaders on navigating the role of an educational administrator as an African American and as a woman. The research questions for the study were:
What race/gender issues do select African American women educational administrators, who work in Minnesota, report as having impacted their leadership practices?
What strategies do select African American women educational administrators, who work in Minnesota, report as having identified or implemented to address race/gender issues in their administrative practices?
How have identified strategies of select African American women educational administrators, who work in Minnesota, assisted them in developing their leadership practices?
Commonalities and collective themes were found in the experiences of the African American women educational administrators dealing with race/gender issues. Whether it was in their role as a female or as an African American, each administrator developed strategies on how to deal with race and gender issues. The need to develop these strategies was imperative in order for each administrator to strive and be successful in their roles.
Each educational administrator brought emotion, confidence, passion and tiredness to their participation in this study. They want to stop being marginalized. They want to be recognized, and have the right to be their real self—this was a thread that ran throughout the participants’ interviews. It was apparent, that the need to work for social justice in the area of education is continual...
As the educational administrators from this study continue to face race/gender issues and work toward social justice, the words of each administrator offers advice for not only future African American women educators to reflect on, but society as a whole. Only once these reflections and discussions occur will race/gender issues for African American women educational administrators be addressed.
Hiel, Kim, "The Influence of Society's Perceptions and Stereotypes on African American Women Administrators' Leadership Practices" (2016). Culminating Projects in Education Administration and Leadership. 17.