Date of Award

Fall 2015

Call Number

LB2831.624.M2 F64 2015

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


female administrators, education, women in the workforce, perceptions of women administrators, Maine, current experiences of female administrators, school superintendent, career obstacles


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.