Women’s Experiences as Educational Leaders: Evidence from Islamabad Model Schools
This paper examines the experiences of women in educational administrative positions in public Schools in Islamabad, Pakistan by using a qualitative research design. In-depth interviews were conducted with head teachers from twenty girls’ model schools from urban areas of Islamabad. The findings of this study reveal that school leadership is not as simplistic and easy as assumed. Instead, it is complex and challenging due to personal and organizational constraints. The data shows that the participants felt reluctant to take leading positions as a result of work-family conflict. Furthermore, they also feared to be able to balance household responsibilities and administrative tasks. While some felt reluctant to work as leaders due to their attributes, others who opted to take the leading positions made personal sacrifices. Moreover, several organizational rules and regulations such as maternity leave and policies regarding child care were believed to distract teachers thus providing hurdles in their careers. It can be concluded that women navigate through these personal and organizational constraints to prove themselves as effective leaders. The findings from this study may offer useful insights to early-career women who aspire to work as potential leaders. These also have implications for policymakers concerned with school education in the country.
Keywords: School Principals, Leadership, Barriers, Family Conflict, Pakistan
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International