Just as a fish does not realize it lives in water, school leaders and education policy makers often fail to see that even after decades of mainstream acceptance of equal opportunity workplaces, public education careers and promotion pipelines continue to be shaped by narrow gender norms.despite existing laws and mandates, many K-12 school systems still have a glass ceiling. To create more equitable opportunities will likely require a broad shift in beliefs and attitudes about gender and leadership. The first step to changing attitudes, however, is to recognize the issue, how it came to be, and why it matters.

If we value academic excellence and gender equity, public school leadership posts must not just go to the boys.


Maranto, Robert, Kristen Carroll, Albert Cheng & Manuel P. Teodoro. 2018. “Boys will be superintendents: School leadership as a gendered profession,” Kappan 100(2): 12-15.

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