Gender Equity at the Top Levels of Education Leadership
May 2, 2019

Less than one third of district superintendents are women and only 11 percent are women of color—this according to a recent report from the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).

Breaking Through: Shattering the Glass Ceiling for Leaders,” recommends steps that school systems, school boards, mayors, and governors can take to diversify the top levels of leadership.

  • Set clear, public goals for greater gender equity at the superintendent level—and demand that search firms and school boards commit to work toward those goals and be transparent about progress
  • Intentionally groom more women for leadership positions, especially women of color, by providing them with not only mentors but active sponsors, and by building networks between them
  • Provide greater coaching support and family-friendly policies.

The report features narratives from leading women at the district and state level, including former PIE Network Board Member Lillian Lowery. Authors compare education to other sectors and discuss the bias and stereotypes challenging women and women in color. The report also examines disparities in pay, the power of building a Network, and the responsibility search firms have to prioritize diversity.

Interested in seeing how the top levels of leadership in your state compare? Check out the state-by-state breakdown in the report’s appendix.


Ashley Schmidt

Ashley is PIE Network's Senior Director of Member Engagement & Communications


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