This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

The Impact of Mentoring Relationships and Influences on the Career of Women Superintendents of Alabama




Bynum, Yvette

Type of Degree



Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology


Women make up the majority of personnel in today’s school systems yet few hold the highest position of superintendent. According to the Digest of Education Statistics, in 2001, 79 percent of all public school teachers nationally were female. Today, 80 percent of Alabama’s teachers are female (Alabama Education Quick Facts 2008). However, there are still a disproportionate number of women superintendents. Glass, Bjork, and Brunner (2000) reported the number of female superintendents increased from 6.6 percent in 1992 to 13.2 percent in 2000. Today the nation’s 14,000-odd district superintendents are overwhelmingly white and male with only 15 percent being women (Gewertz, 2006). However, in comparison to the number of women who begin their careers in education, there is still a wide disparity between the percentage in the ranks and the percentage who are leading a school as superintendents (Grogan, 1994; Kamler, 2006). This purpose of this study was to examine the career and psychosocial mentoring functions on the career development of women superintendents currently serving in Alabama. A researcher developed survey instrument and demographic questionnaire were used to measure career and psychosocial mentoring functions. A population of 28 (N=28) female superintendents/assistant superintendents participated in study. Descriptive data summarized the demographic characteristics of the most significant mentor of the superintendents who participated. The results of an ANOVA to ascertain differences in career and psychosocial mentoring functions means was conducted. The results of the ANOVA showed a statistically significant relationship among all functions of career and psychosocial mentoring. However, a one-way ANOVA for gender indicated that there was no statistically significant relationship between influences of male and female mentors on the career and psychosocial mentoring functions. Hence, the implication from the results suggests that the career and psychosocial mentoring functions do have a significant influence on the career of women superintendents of Alabama.