Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Education


Leadership and Counselor Education

First Advisor

Douglass Davis

Second Advisor

Ryan Niemeyer

Third Advisor

Donald Cole

Relational Format



Women account for approximately 60 percent of all high school teachers, but account for barely 30 percent of the principals of these schools. When the data is disaggregated to only examine African American women in education, the disproportion widens between women and men in leadership. As the demographics of the population in the United States change, there is expanding need for more culturally, ethnically, racially diverse leaders in the public schools. African American women because of their experiences often model transformational leadership with oppression regarding their race and gender. Such leadership is beneficial to minority students, who now make up more than half of the student population attending public schools. To recruit more women of color, organizations must provide support systems to help minimize the challenges that African American women might encounter in their leadership roles; one challenge is finding a balance in home and work. In this study, the researcher identified support systems and strategies that benefit African American women who are principals in urban schools as they balance home and work. The narratives of six, African American mothers who were principals of urban high schools were used to develop a case study of how societal expectations and stereotypes affect their navigation of work and family conflict. In addition to narratives, document analysis and observations were used to develop and identify support systems and strategies that have allowed women in leadership positions to maintain a balance between work and life. Additionally, in this study, the researcher identified the challenges and barriers that exist in society and the field of education that have prevented women, especially African American women, from achieving leadership positions in education while maintaining a healthy work and family balance.


Emphasis: Education Leadership (K-12)

Available for download on Thursday, July 23, 2020