39 Pages Posted: 7 Jun 2024

See all articles by Jessica Fink

Jessica Fink

California Western School of Law

Dr. Kelley King

Walden University

Date Written: March 15, 2024


Concerns about unequal gender representation have plagued virtually every workplace in recent decades. In countless professions, even those in which women comprise a majority of the workforce, leadership positions are dominated by men. Often, the inability of women to rise within the professional hierarchy stems not only from overt acts of sex discrimination, but also from more subtle and nuanced bias in the workplace-bias referred to in other research as "gender sidelining." This sidelining seems particularly paradoxical when it arises in professions in which women already have been funneled due to their gender-including the education sphere. In this way, the K-12 education world represents a microcosm of the bias that female workers encounter more generally-workplaces rife not only with intentional bias, but also with more nuanced barriers, which culminate to create a work environment where women face dead ends, diversions and delays in ways not reached by traditional antidiscrimination laws. This article examines some of the barriers that have prevented women in the K-12 education world from achieving leadership roles, focusing, in particular, on obstacles that largely sit outside of the law-incidents of gender sidelining that would not on their own form the basis of a viable sex discrimination claim. Drawing on both legal principles and social science research, this article not only identifies the extent to which the careers of many women in education have been derailed by various forms of gender sidelining, but also provides suggestions for how to ameliorate these destructive impacts.

Keywords: gender, sex, discrimination, education, sidelining

Suggested Citation

Fink, Jessica and King, Dr. Kelley, GENDER SIDELINING IN SCHOOLS AND THE SCOURGE OF SINGLE SEX SCHOOL LEADERSHIP (March 15, 2024). Available at SSRN: or

Jessica Fink (Contact Author)

California Western School of Law ( email )

225 Cedar Street
San Diego, CA 92101
United States
619-525-1452 (Phone)

Dr. Kelley King

Walden University ( email )

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics