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Gendered Ambition: Career Advancement in Public Schools

34 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2017  

Robert Maranto

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform

Manuel P. Teodoro

Texas A&M University

Kristen Carroll

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Albert Cheng

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS); University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform

Date Written: September 30, 2017

Abstract

We explore the relationships between gender, career ambition, and the emergence of executive leadership. In Bureaucratic Ambition, Teodoro (2011) shows that public administration career systems shape bureaucrats’ ambitions, political behavior, and management strategies. But career systems are not neutral conduits of talent: administrators are more likely to pursue advancement when career systems favor them. This research proposes that women and men respond to gendered public career systems. Using national and state-level data on public school managers, we find marked gender disparities in the career paths that lead educators from the classroom to the superintendent post. Specifically, we find that female and elementary school teachers take longer to advance than male and secondary school teachers. We also find gender disparities in certification and experiences among school principals. Accordingly, female and elementary principals report lower levels of ambition. Such gendered career systems may lead to biases in policy agendas and management styles.

Keywords: bureaucratic ambition, gender gap, gender and leadership, educational leadership

Suggested Citation

Maranto, Robert and Teodoro, Manuel P. and Carroll, Kristen and Cheng, Albert, Gendered Ambition: Career Advancement in Public Schools (September 30, 2017). EDRE Working Paper No. 2017-18. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3045990

Robert Maranto (Contact Author)

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform ( email )

201 Graduate Education Building
Fayetteville, AR 72701
United States
479-575-3225 (Phone)
479-575-3196 (Fax)

Manuel Teodoro

Texas A&M University ( email )

College Station, TX 77843-4353
United States

Kristen Carroll

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Albert Cheng

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform ( email )

201 Graduate Education Building
Fayetteville, AR 72701
United States

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