Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Public Policy


Muskie School of Public Service

First Advisor

David Silvernail

Second Advisor

Catherine Fallona

Third Advisor

Betsy Webb


Lack of female administrators in the schools, perceptions of women administrators in Maine, current experiences of female administrators, what prevents women from being school superintendents


The purpose of this dissertation was to explore the phenomenon of the external and internal barriers that exist for women administrators in Maine seeking to reach the school superintendency. During the 2014-2015 school year in Maine, females comprised only 21 percent of all superintendents. While there is research about the shortage of superintendents nationwide, there is scant research from the female perspective. This research provided insights from women’s perspectives about why gender inequality exists at the superintendent level in education in the state of Maine. Through the use of phenomenological interviews, this qualitative research study focused on the views of six female participants who were administrators in Maine during the 2014-2015 school year.