Term of Award

Summer 2017

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Meca Williams-Johnson

Committee Member 1

Juliann McBrayer

Committee Member 2

Pamela Wells


The purpose of this mixed method study is to determine if women who lead secondary schools have gender bias experiences that might influence their leadership styles. The study focused on the accounts of five women who lead secondary schools, their gender bias experiences, their perceived leadership style and whether or not they believed the experience influences how they lead. Through in-depth interviews and survey completion, the data from both sources revealed the common leadership styles and gender bias experiences among the research participants. When examining the shared experiences three salient themes emerged: (a) A belief that gender bias still exists in educational leadership, (b) The influence the experience had on the leaders, and (c) Why the participants chose transformative leadership as the leadership style they subscribe to identify within their leadership work. Each participant held different experiences but shared both common leadership styles and common rationales for their leadership style adoption.

Research Data and Supplementary Material