The format for our #uLead17 #WomenEd pre-conference had us engage in short (15 minute) conversations at our tables around the 8 Cs. As the day progressed, these table groups changed and we were able to share and learn from a variety of perspectives.
The context for this question was set by @saskmag as she shared some Canadian and Albertan statistics:
As you may predict, the further up the ladder of formal leadership roles (Superintendent, Alberta Teachers' Association, etc.) we go, the percentage of women leaders drops. Armed with this information, we were invited to talk at our tables about this question:
We talked about our school visions:
*We are a school which educates young women (mind, body, spirit) and we empower our young women to be leaders in service to the community.
We talked about the positions that men and women hold in our districts:
*We resonated with the stats...with small pockets of gender equity.
*All senior leadership are male except one.
*Context in my region is typical of Alberta where there are fewer women in leadership roles; however, I have been fortunate to have many women leaders.
*Men occupy "higher" leadership roles (such as Superintendent, Associate Superintendent, principals) and women fill roles below them.
*Women are not represented centrally.
*Generally speaking, women in leadership positions are acting as support to schools, whereas the infrastructure leadership is male dominated.
*Currently we are a district that is quite equally represented (but not proportionate to percentage of female teachers). This is a change from the past where it was male heavy in those roles.
*More females are being promoted at the high school level in Calgary Public...is this due to greater awareness?
*Trustees decide who leads.
*Central decision making means I may not get a say in who my leadership team is.
We talked about the bigger picture and questioned how to move forward:
*There are opportunities for progression but not necessarily choice.
*Women are not being supported or coached for senior administrative positions. How can we address this?
*We need to go beyond physical representation to respected VOICE.
*We need to recognize and name the misogyny and gender bias that exists.
*What is the pathway to the principal role at the high school level?
*How do we get more women to APPLY for positions that are advertised?
*Do leadership styles change when gender equity changes?
Finally, I don't believe that equal pay is an issue in Alberta (as we are paid according to years of schooling and our admin allowance is based on a formula of some kind) until we reach Central Office. Teachers are not required to develop the skill-set of negotiating salary and without those skills, when we take leadership positions outside of the pay grid, we may experience a difference in pay even within similar positions. Perhaps part of us finding our voice, is understanding how to negotiate our "value" in terms of salary.
Let's keep the conversation going to build clarity...what's your leadership landscape look like?