Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Virginia Foley

Committee Members

John Boyd, Jason Horne, Pamela Scott


The purpose of this narrative inquiry study is to explore the barriers and opportunities women in K-12 leadership face, particularly with how they navigate conflicts in their work-life balance and in what ways they have been afforded opportunities. Work-life balance will be generally defined as the reconciliation of the conflicting demands and obligations between a women’s professional requirements and her personal life. Opportunities will be defined as events that lead to a woman’s career advancements and accomplishments. The study was designed to identify perceived barriers and opportunities during both the ascension to and experience of holding a public K-12 educational leadership position in order to explore successful strategies and factors future female leaders might use to address career ascendency and leadership development challenges. For this study, a narrative research design was used to explore, examine, and understand the female K-12 public educational leaders’ personal reflections of events and experiences, and the meaning that was extracted from those experiences. Using a categorical content analysis, themes were inductively identified within the narrative. Although the public education workforce has historically been dominated by women, evidence remains that there is a disproportionate number of women in senior leadership positions. As suggested by the review of literature, it is necessary to investigate the journey of women’s leadership development to identify how to best develop future female leaders in public K-12 education.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the author.