Rachel M. Roberts, Ph.D. is a 2022 graduate of the PHD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.
Rachel Roberts at her Dissertation Defense.
From L-R: Dr. Harriet Schwartz, Committee Member, Dr. Lize Booysen, Committee Chair, Dr. Susan Katz, Committee Member (not shown).
- Lize Booysen, DBL, Committee Chair
- Harriet Schwartz, Ph.D., Committee Member
- Susan Katz, Ph.D., Committee Member
Grounded Theory Method, GTM, human females, leadership, school leadership, school superintendency, feminist theory, intersectionality
I have been an educator for my entire career. First, as a teacher and over the last decade as a school administrator. During my tenure, I have continually noticed the underrepresentation of women in the highest office: the school superintendent. This has vexed me over the years, and as a scholar practitioner in leadership and change, I have devoted my research to unearthing the inequalities and disproportional realities that exist within high-profile leadership, particularly the public school superintendency. Utilizing a grounded theory approach, this dissertation sought to better understand what happens at the micro-level, especially during and after the superintendent search and selection process, for women who successfully land a final round interview, but ultimately are not selected for the position. More often than not, women are quick to make the shortlist of finalists, and as nearly 74% of all superintendents are male (Tienken, 2021), yet only rarely get offered the position. Through the use of constructivist grounded theory methods, this dissertation reveals a navigational journey riddled with gendered and racialized-gendered experiences rife with barriers for the women who strive for the position. Despite these difficult and challenging obstacles, this dissertation found strength, resilience, and fortitude within the data and the following dimensions: navigating gendered and racialized-gendered experiences, living my core, drifting from self, The Big Kaboom, and finding peace. As a result, this study asserts three theoretical implications related to the experiences of women as they seek the superintendency. This dissertation is available in open access AURA (https://aura.antioch.edu) and OhioLINK ETD center (https://etd.ohiolink.edu).
Roberts, R. M. (2022). Women Seeking the Public School Superintendency: Navigating the Gendered and Racialized-Gendered Job Search. https://aura.antioch.edu/etds/861