Description: The major purpose of this descriptive study was to determine common characteristics and influences among women who were serving as public school superintendents of independent districts in Texas during the 1988-89 school year. Commonalities were determined in (1) personal characteristics, (2) personality traits, and (3) perceived barriers to career mobility. A seventy-item survey was developed, validated, and mailed to the thirty-three women superintendents in Texas. Data from the survey were analyzed to determine if commonalities existed among women superintendents. Based on the findings of this study, the following conclusions seem justified: (1) Commonalities in personal characteristics which exist among women superintendents include age, ethnicity, marital status, parenthood, positive attitudes toward being both mothers and superintendents, preference for husbands in the field of education, demonstration of early leadership traits, and self-perceptions of being assertive and risk-taking; (2) Most women superintendents share common views on subjective measures concerning their own personalities, and they rated themselves highest in areas which include self-esteem, general daily activity level, independence, job satisfaction, ability to operate under pressure and practicality; and (3) Most women superintendents perceive similar internal and external barriers to their career mobility; a lack of professional network and employers' negative attitudes toward women are the most common external barriers.
Date: December 1989
Creator: Howell, Rachel W.