Date of Award

Spring 5-1-2018

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

EdD Education Leadership, Management and Policy

Department

Education Leadership, Management and Policy

Advisor

Carolyn Sattin-Bajaj, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Michael Kuchar, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Gerard Babo, Ed.D.

Keywords

Latinas and School Leadership, Latinas and Mentoring, Latinas and Social Capital, Latina School Administrators, Latinas and Career Advancement, Latinas Leaders

Abstract

This study examined the underrepresentation of women in leadership roles, specifically on the underrepresentation of Latina women holding leadership administrative positions in education. Using social capital as the theoretical framework, this study explored the role of mentoring relationships in the career advancement and promotions of Latina women. A narrative research design was selected to collect participants’ stories about their career advancement into school leadership positions. The narratives were collected through semi-structured face-to-face interviews. A total of 20 Latina school administrators were interviewed for 45 to 60 minutes. Upon completion of the interviews, the data was analyzed using narrative analysis. This study showed that mentoring relationships are essential to the career advancement of Latina school administrators. Current literature shows that Latina women have traditionally found mentors outside of their professional environments. Typically, these mentors include their mothers or other close family members (Méndez-Morse, 2004). However, all the women in this research study stated that they had formal or informal professional mentoring relationships. Participants reported stronger mentoring relationships with informal mentors. Most of the informal mentoring relationships were established through close work with their immediate supervisors. This study suggests that having informal mentors facilitated Latina women’s aspirations to become school leaders. In addition, the findings of this study suggest mentors were essential for Latina women attainment of leadership positions and therefore, counteract the pattern of underrepresentation of Latinas in such roles in New Jersey schools.

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