WomenEd Blogs

Leadership Blogs from WomenEd

by Vivienne Porritt @ViviennePorritt

Two of WomenEd’s campaigns are about the representation of women in leadership roles in education, with a particular focus on women with an ethnic heritage. We know the stats show men are disproportionately represented and the pace of change in altering what leaders look like is glacial.This is a key reason for our partnership with The National College of Education in England.

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by Zoe Enser @greeborunner

I never really understood networking. It was something which was increasingly mentioned as I moved into leadership, but I never knew quite what it meant or indeed why it was a good thing. People said it would help me with my career and enable me to do my job better, but never really told me how. It was also based on the premise I was ambitious and wanted to progress, as opposed to just being happy in what I was doing, but that is a whole other discussion. Networking had also become a bit of a dirty word to me.

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by Ann Marie Luce @turnmeluce   Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

The past months have been challenging for everyone, and many have been forced to adapt to our new reality. I, too, have made some difficult decisions that impacted my family and career.  At the start of the global COVID-19 pandemic, I returned to Canada from China, where I was an international school leader. I spent six months working remotely as a school principal with our school's staff, students, and parents scattered worldwide.

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By Jacinta C. Mayronne @drcalzy

When I first began conversations with @WomenEd_US about hosting a potential chat titled 'Imperfection: Motherhood and Leadership,' it was back in March, before the majority of the United States began quarantining due to COVID-19. My perception and thoughts of what motherhood and leadership look and feel like are completely different now that I pick up my pen to write this blog six months later.

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By Dr Jacinta C. Mayronne @drcalzy

Dr. Tracey Beckendorf-Edou, superintendent of Cascade School District in Washington State, is a collaborator! As she tackles her second year of superintendency amidst the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Dr. Beckendorf-Edou, the ideal systems thinker, shared some brilliant ways for other women to navigate their journey towards superintendency. She gave us insight on essential qualities of a school superintendent, why qualified women choose not to pursue superintendency and benefits of diversity in the role - specifically gender diversity, how to encourage other women to pursue educational leadership, and what compels and sustains women throughout their leadership journeys.

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by Nicola Mooney @nicksnook

 

This is a short reflective blog on why standing together is important.

 

One year ago today I received this message:

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by Mairead Mhig Uaid @MaireadMhigUaid

For almost a quarter of a century, I have worked in the Irish Medium education sector in the north of Ireland/Northern Ireland. An immersion education system established here just over 50 years ago, it has doubled in size across each phase in the last 15 years to almost 7,000 pupils . Recommendations for development in 2008 by the Department of Education for Northern Ireland have seen limited progression. The sector is small and education here is a devolved issue.

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By Christina Watson @cmw_kendal     Photo credit The Falkland Islands – Sunset Saturday 26 September

Saturday 26th September saw our first @WomenEdFalkland event: a morning thinking about Values- Led Leadership. What a morning it was: full of collegiality, wisdom and optimism.  @RRamaito kicked us off via Skype from Rome, encouraging us in “Leading from your soul and not your role”. She reminded us that when leadership is defined by the impact of powerful and positive behaviours, that inspire, engage and empower ourselves and others to live out our persistent values, then we create a culture that is brave, open, flexible, generous and nurturing. Values- led leadership leads to empowered colleagues, embraces diverse talents and makes space for agile responsive leadership. We are in!

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By Jill Berry @JillBerry102

On Saturday 12th September 2020, #WomenEd ran a webinar on the subject of what it is currently like to be a woman serving head in this country. The webinar was ably hosted by the wonderful Keziah Featherstone (@keziah70) and featured eleven practising school leaders:

Nav Sanghara (@NavSanghara), Caroline Derbyshire (@Morsecat), Helena Marsh (@HelenaMarsh81), Binks Neate-Evans (@BinksNeateEvans), Helen Keenan (@hbkeenan), Christalla Jamil @ChristallaJ), Allana Gay (@AllanaG13), Caroline Barlow (@BarlowCaroline), Mareme Mufwoko (@MMufwoko), Ruth Whymark (@ruth_whymark) and Claire Price (@ClairePrice1). It was a superb event.

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by Christalla Jamil @ChristallalJ

I graduated from teaching when I was 36 years old. I have been in education for seventeen years now, nine of which have been as a headteacher. I commenced my career in teaching in a maintained primary school in Palmers Green, North London. I was a teacher with TLR2b responsibilities and Training School responsibilities. I became a Consultant Leading Teacher and an Advanced Skills Teacher whilst in my first school. I trained all NQTs in Science for the Borough of Enfield for 8 years too! This allowed me to support school improvement and develop a hunger for leadership.

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by Lucy Flower @MrsLFlower

 

After my post on ‘Forming an Opinion’ I had some incredible responses, particularly from the #WomenEd community. Most shocking was the article I read from BYU, ‘When Women Don’t Speak’.

It transpires that simply having a seat at the table does not mean having a voice.

The study conducted by Professor Jennifer Preece, Professor Olga Stoddard and Professor Christopher Kravitz on mixed gender groups of women and men, found that when asked to make a majority decision, the perspectives of influence meant that women were routinely interrupted, had unequal talking time, and as a result were seen as less influential in shaping the direction of the decision making in the group.

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by Tracy Goodyear @Miss_Goodyear

It’s 5pm on Friday 5th June and I’ve decided to stop and to just do some thinking. It’s all too easy at a time like this to just carry on, to take action, to plough on through until the bitter end. It’s far too easy to forget to take stock of where we’ve been, what we’ve achieved in these extraordinary times and to plan some next steps, knowing that the future seems so uncertain.

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by Nichola @Nichola80

'I’d like to offer you the job'. The best sentence I’ve heard during lockdown and possibly the best one for a very long time. Doing an interview in the middle of a pandemic was strange to say the least. No shaking hands, no tour of the school or teaching a group, sitting in a room socially distant from the 2 people in the room and a 3rd member of the panel via video. But ultimately I’m still me, still the same passionate teacher. Turns out they thought so too. So in September my new challenge begins.

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by Rachel Stone @SBMCoventry   #BirthdayCelebration

Well, here I am writing a blog for the first time.

Why now? Well, probably because I have always been encouraged behind the scenes by Hilary Goldsmith, aka @SBL365, since I joined #SBLtwitter but politely ignored the challenge, until now. It has always been on my tah-dah list to write a blog post, but I have just never really had the confidence to do so. My fears? Would others find me interesting? What could I say to make a difference to someone else? Am I gifted enough to be a writer? I have read so many great things that have made me punch the air in delight for the genuine achievements of some School Business Managers. How could I possibly compete and make a difference?

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by Kaley Riley @MrsRileyEnglish


On Friday, I attended an interview. On arrival, the other candidates and I got chatting. We all spoke about our current roles, why we had applied and the usual, tense pre-interview small talk amongst competitors who are- essentially- trying to scope one another out. I mentioned, as part of this small talk, that I had applied a year ago for the same school, and a similar role, but was unsuccessful. I could see their surprise. 

‘Oh really? Why were you not appointed?’  ‘It is very brave to apply again after getting knocked back!’

They were right. It was brave, but it was also telling of my commitment to wanting the role (albeit, this time around, much more senior), my resilience and of my sheer dogged determination.

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