1st Edition

Finding Your Path as a Woman in School Leadership A Guide for Educators, Allies, and Advocates

By Kim Cofino, Christina Botbyl Copyright 2024
    264 Pages 30 B/W Illustrations
    by Eye On Education

    264 Pages 30 B/W Illustrations
    by Eye On Education

    264 Pages 30 B/W Illustrations
    by Eye On Education

    Featuring the experiences of over 70 successful female leaders in international, public, and private schools around the world, Finding Your Path as a Woman in School Leadership brings together interconnected stories about the realities of being a woman in K–12 school leadership today. Women face distinct and unique challenges in pursuing a leadership pathway in schools; unfortunately, most of the obstacles facing women are hidden and only become visible when encountered on the journey to leadership. This book uncovers these invisible obstacles and shares the personal journeys of real women who have overcome them. Chapters feature powerful stories woven together to provide takeaway strategies and address common themes for women in leadership, including unconscious bias and daily microaggressions; physical, linguistic, and cultural expectations of leaders; perception (or reality) of lack of opportunities for women; impostor syndrome and double standards; and availability of mentorship and guidance. This impactful book provides actionable steps for both aspiring leaders and established leaders ready to support growing leaders in their school communities.

    Foreword  Meet the Authors  Acknowledgements  Preface  Part I: Seeing Yourself as a Leader  Chapter 1: The Path to Leadership  Chapter 2: Recognizing Your Potential to Lead  Chapter 3; Uncovering Essential Skills for Female Leaders  Chapter 4: Facing Imposter Syndrome: It Happens to Successful Leaders Too!  Chapter 5: The Power of Mentorship for Women in Leadership Positions  Part II: Facing the Realities of Leadership for Women  Chapter 6: Double Standards for Women Leaders  Chapter 7: The Old Boys' Club in School Leadership: The Elephant in the Room  Chapter 8: Exploring Intersectionality for Women in Leadership Positions  Chapter 9: Clarifying the Lack of Opportunity for Women in Leadership  Part III: Strategies and Skills for Success  Chapter 10: Seeing the Big Picture  Chapter 11: Lessons Learned from Head-of-School Interviews  Chapter 12: Strategies and Skills for Handling Difficult Conversations  Chapter 13: How Busy Leaders Prioritize and Find Focus  Chapter 14: Finding a Space of Well-Being in a Busy Leadership Role   Chapter 15: Shaping a Culture of Well-Being and Leading By Example   Chapter 16: Next Steps: Moving Toward Whole-School Change  Appendix A  Appendix B 


    Kim Cofino is Founder and CEO of Eduro Learning and host of the #coachbetter podcast. After decades of experience at international schools in Germany, Malaysia, Thailand, and Japan, she now helps schools develop sustainable and successful instructional coaching programs. Kim is based in Bangkok, Thailand.

    Christina Botbyl is an experienced teaching and learning leader in international education. She is a facilitator with the National School Reform Faculty leading Critical Friends Group coaches training and is currently the Chief Academic Director at an international school.

    "Not only do the authors share stories and insights from female leaders around the world, but they turn these into actionable "how-tos" that every one of us can take and make our own. This book reminds educators that every one of them belongs in the leadership arena and that their ideas, their voice and their experiences matter. You will finish the book feeling inspired not only to lead, but to empower those around you to do the same."

    Dr. Rania Saeb, West Coast University & California State University, USA.

    "In this insightful and honest gathering of voices, experiences, and tribulations, the authors suggest specific reflective practices to support and guide future women into leadership pathways. As a reflective experience the strategies can help women seeking leadership positions in moving forward; as a gathering space it can connect those who were interviewed to current and future leaders as a means of mentoring for success. If you are interested in these pathways, this is a book to read!"

    Dr. Beverly Shaklee, George Mason University, USA.

    "What I appreciate about this book is that it acknowledges the systemic and cultural realities women face. This serves as a powerful tool in empowering women and redirecting the focus towards transforming the system, rather than placing the burden solely on women to adapt and change. By addressing these realities, the book provides a refreshing, much-needed perspective. The authors skillfully weave together the voices of inspiring leaders and the latest research, creating an inspiring and authentic connection with the reader."

    Ms. Kawai Lai, August Public, USA.

    "Insightful and practical, this book engages with something for the head—a chance to reflect on evidence-based research and reframe one’s current thinking; for the heart—a focus on unique stories that will resonate and connect to a leader’s moral purpose; and for the hands—a call to action to make a positive difference in one’s self and in the lives of others. Centered on inclusive leadership, this transformational book will serve to inspire positive changes in aspiring and established school leaders alike."

    Ms. Sarah Plews, Sarah Plews Consultancy, USA. 

    "With this book, Kim and Christina have created a juggernaut of a resource. Not only do these interviews validate the experiences of women everywhere aspiring to be leaders in education, but they also leverage those experiences by including relevant research to explain them. Moreover, each chapter includes pointed, sometimes provocative, prompts for even the most established leader to reflect on. This book is a call to action which will ideally result in a new generation of diverse, equitable school leadership."

    Ms. Adrienne Michetti, Ample Means Learning & Coaching, Canada.

    "By allowing women leaders in education to share personal narratives in their own words, and by showcasing the experiences of women from various backgrounds, cultures, and contexts, this book establishes a sense of connection and relatability. It serves as a valuable resource for all leaders who aim to support and mentor emerging talent within their school communities, and as a roadmap for overcoming the obstacles that hinder women's progress, paving the way for a more inclusive and equitable educational landscape."

    Ms. Nancy Lhoest-Squicciarini, Educational Collaborative for International Schools, Luxembourg.