@WomenEdCanada #uLead17 An Exploration of our #WomenEd Values: CLARITY


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? 

Author Profile

Charlie Kraig

Charlie Kraig

VP of K-8 school in Alberta, Canada. Mom. Part of @WomenEdCanada launch. #imperfectally

6 stories


Lisa Hannay Lisa Hannay @lisahan 7 months ago
Thanks for this Charlie. Crucial is the part about voice. I think any leader has to make sure their voice is heard. This may include reiterating perspectives when met with deaf ears! As a female leader I just had to remind folks that my voice and perspective matter..even in my absence. Subtle indifferences need to be pointed out. I think it was referred to as second generation bias (I think....truthfully sometimes my mind wanders). Thanks for the thoughtful blog!
Heather De Blasio Heather De Blasio @hdeblasio 7 months ago
Thank you, Charlie. I think that clarity is essential for all leaders in all aspects of their leadership. I see it as particularly important for aspiring leaders - and incredibly challenging for them to have a sense of their identity as a leader, even before they formally become one. This needs to be intentionally cultivated and nurtured by supportive leaders around them.
Lisa Hannay Lisa Hannay @lisahan 7 months ago
P.S. how did you get such a neat picture? I am struggling a bit on the picture part?
Charlie Kraig Charlie Kraig @cvkraig 7 months ago
@lisahan I totally stole it from someone :) I just did a google images search for "clarity" and it popped up. Tried to follow the rules by only using a image with sharing rights that allowed for me to use it but they were lame...I often get distracted looking for the right image and lose A LOT of time. It's the curse of perfectionism.
Those pie charts say it all. Would be good to take another look in three/five years time-see what difference #womened and the #beboldforchange movement has made.
Dion Johnson Dion Johnson @dionjohnson 7 months ago
Wow! There's no denying the work to be done when you see pictures like that!
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