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Women Still Face Barriers to Leadership (Opinion)

To the Editor:

I can attest that as a woman and a mother currently pursuing a leadership role in education, this climb is no easy feat (“Women Superintendents Experience Bias on the Climb to Leadership,” March 22, 2024). As a Latina, the climb is even steeper. Moms shouldn’t have to choose between their family and their career, and young girls of color should have role models who look like them.

I agree that intentional shifts in culture, policies, and structures are necessary to create greater parity in gender and race among superintendency roles. Gender and racial biases may exist among those making top-tier hiring decisions such as district superintendents, who, according to data, are more than likely white men.

There is a sliver of hope: More women are pursuing leadership certifications. The challenge lies in the barriers that we face in landing those positions. According to Education Week’s “What Does a School Principal Do? An Explainer,” there are slightly more female than male principals. Despite this increase, the gap in gender equality as it relates to top leadership positions in education and other sectors still exists. We still have a lot of work to do as a society.

Elaine Centeno
Mathematics Teacher/Administrative Intern
Yonkers, N.Y.

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