Pursuing her initial vice-principalship: a narrative inquiry

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Melvin, Kim
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The attainment of my initial vice-principalship position was a challenge and, as a result, I was curious if other women’s experiences were similar to mine. The aim of this research study was to examine women’s experiences pursuing their initial vice-principalships. In developing the aim of this research, two themes emerged in a literature review; career paths of women in educational leadership and mentorship in education. These themes described barriers and/or supports for women’s entry into vice-principalship positions. I used a narrative inquiry methodology to co-create and re-story six urban women vice-principals and principals’ retelling of their lived experiences. I found barriers and/or supports for women’s entry into vice-principalship positions described in the literature continued to exist. Although the participants’ experiences of attaining a vice-principalship ranged from 16 years ago to as recent as 5 years ago, their experiences were similar and demonstrated social reproduction of hegemonic androcentric beliefs. I realized although some of my experiences were dissimilar to the participants’ experiences, my experiences were also framed by hegemonic androcentric beliefs and I unconsciously accepted them to be true. In examining these lived experiences, the field of educational administration can better prepare for removing barriers and/ or providing support for women to pursue their initial vice-principalship position.
Vice-principal, Career path, Mentorship, Educational administration, Leadership, Women, Urban