Date of Award

Fall 2019

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Doyle Stevick


This study investigates women who are serving as assistant principals or new principals in high schools, and their mentoring experiences on their journey toward secondary school principalship. Women are significantly underrepresented in secondary school principalships, and they face a number of additional, gender-specific challenges (Thurman, 2004). Mentoring may be both part of the solution and part of the problem. First, it might not be adequate to support and recruit those with strong leadership potential into such positions and second, the dynamics of mentoring may not be sensitive to the particular challenges that women face. Examining the participants’ experiences through the mentoring process could identify those features that women have found particularly helpful, so that they can be adopted more broadly. This study was an inquiry into what women want from mentors - their ideal mentoring situation. What do they think would most help them? With data about their actual and ideal mentoring experiences, I hope to contribute to the development of better mentoring programs for women aspiring to the secondary school principalship. With these insights, we might better help mentors address gender-specific mentoring needs and any potential gender-bias within the mentoring process itself.

Included in

Education Commons