Perceptions about the Relational and Operational Practices of African American Female Chief Executive Officers
This study explored the lived experiences of four seated, successful African American female superintendents who led large urban public school districts. The purpose of this study was to understand successful African American female superintendents and the factors that enhanced their success in high-level educational positions. A phenomenological research approach was utilized, building on two primary theoretical constructs—feminist standpoint and intersectionality. The data were collected through individual interviews with the superintendents and three constituent participants from each district. Four findings emerged, (a) high priority was placed on the implementation of equitable educational practices; (b) in the process of implementing equitable practices, racism was an explicit issue; (c) these superintendents often encountered “glass-cliff” situations and double standards for performance; and (d) sexual and racial discriminations were harshly encountered outside the district, in the community. New and aspiring African American female superintendents can be better equipped for success when they specifically prepare to take on these formidable challenges before entering school districts as superintendents. Additionally, superintendents’ preparation and certification programs must be more focused on and pay explicit attention to preparing African American females for the arduous demands of the position within underfunded and low-performing districts.
Collins, Theodicia, "Perceptions about the Relational and Operational Practices of African American Female Chief Executive Officers" (2021). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI28540391.