Accessing internal leadership positions at school: Testing the similarity-attraction approach regarding gender in three educational systems in Israel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Women school leaders may act as social agents who promote gender equality, but evidence is inconclusive regarding the effect of women's leadership on gender stratification in the workplace. Purpose: Based on the similarity-attraction perspective, this study examined male and female school leaders' relations to similar others in three educational systems: Jewish secular public schools, Jewish religious public schools, and Arab schools. As these school systems represent distinct sociocultural contexts regarding women's status, the study tested for differences among them in women's sponsorship of other women. Data Collection and Analysis: The study was based on a survey conducted by the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics in 2000 that included (N = 63, 886) teachers and school administrators. The data were analyzed by conducting several multinomial logistic regression analyses in which the dependent variable was holding an internal leadership position within the school. Findings: The findings indicated that female school leaders have more diversified behavior to other women than male school leaders show in regard to men. The extent to which women promoted other women depended on their relative social power within each educational system. Conclusions: The study supports the claim that sponsoring similar others tends to be context bound, as gender inequality in holding internal administrative positions differed according to school principals'gender and to educational system. The implications of the study are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-323
Number of pages33
JournalEducational Administration Quarterly
Volume42
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2006

Keywords

  • Comparative education
  • Gender
  • Internal leadership
  • Jewish and Arab education
  • School principal

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