Representation of Women in Leadership Roles in Education

Representation of Women in Leadership Roles in Education

Whilst women leaders are well represented in middle leader roles, they are disproportionately underrepresented in senior roles in educational organisations globally, despite women making up the majority of the education workforce

'To break a glass ceiling, we must first have the possibility to access opportunities, be given the time to showcase skillset, and know that the other side of the ceiling exists for us to take up space in it.'  (Sheree Atcheson, Forbes, 13th May 2021)

Below you will find what we have achieved to date, our plans for the future, ways you can get involved, case studies, and below that, more resources.


Our Representation Goals

This year we are:

Offering #WomenEd cohorts for women who are part of a senior leadership team in England to gain a Senior Leaders Masters / Apprenticeship in partnership with the National College for Education (Jan cohort deadline – November 12, 2021; next cohort starts Sep 2022.)

Offering events to support women to move forward in their leadership journey



Our Representation Achievements

So far we have:

Published a wide range of blogs and videos about gender assumptions, leadership mindset and gaining leadership posts

Supported school business leaders as leaders in education

Supported middle leaders who aspire to senior leadership

Encouraged women to be board members

Encouraged Early Career Teachers to think about becoming leaders

Shared videos of events about           

 1.  being a female headteacher in the UK

2. female leadership in the USA

3. female leadership in Middle East and North Africa

4. female leadership globally

Held a panel discussion at our 2021 global unconference asking ‘Is Headship worth it?’ in the UK and globally as well as in our 2020 global unconference

Held a panel discussion on Leadership Development through the lens of a woman at our 2021 global unconference

Hosted a presentation on how educational leaders can make recruitment less biased

Written a chapter in 10%Braver: Inspiring Women to Lead Education

Written about how to attract more women to senior leadership


Representation Case Studies

‘I watched your webinar on writing effective applications for leadership roles as I had lost my confidence in my letter writing skills after a couple of failed applications. I recently saw an advertisement for a Deputy Headteacher role, so I watched your webinar again.

I followed your advice and, not only did I find it stopped me re-drafting the letter endlessly, but I have also secured an interview for the role. A huge thank you for the advice and guidance as I don’t think I would have had the confidence to write a letter in the way I did without it.’ (Anonymous)

Representation Get Involved!

You can get involved by:

Attending our event for negotiating for the role, the salary, the working pattern you want

Watching our advice about writing a job application that gets results

Applying for your next leadership step

Joining our #WomenEd Senior Leaders Masters / Apprenticeship cohort for January 2020

Being an advocate and supporter of women leaders as a male educator and leader, and in 10%Braver: Inspiring Women to Lead Education and Being 10%Braver


Other Representation Resources

Representation Other Resources

Women’s leadership in education podcast (ASCL, January 2021)





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