Educational Administration, Department of


Date of this Version


Document Type



Journal of Women in Educational Leadership, 2017.



Copyright (c) 2017 Teresa Alley Yearout, Mitchell R. Williams, & Roger John Brenner


This study examined current women leaders’ perceptions of the impediments to advancement at the community college. The study was guided by research questions addressing perceptions of (a) personal or internal impediments to advancement; (b) organizational or structural impediments to advancement; and (c) organizational cultural impediments to advancement. Additionally, the current study focuses on the setting and size of the community college and how these factors affect women leaders’ perceptions of impediments to leadership advancement. Participants in the study included a nonrandom, purposive sample of senior female leaders at community college leaders at community colleges in the eleven-state region of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

One unexpected finding from the current study was the continuing existence of the perception of the “‘good ol’ boys’ network and culture of power” impediment to advancement of women leaders in community colleges. As a result of the passage of time and the advancement of women in business and political sectors as well as educational institutions, colleges would have expectantly progressed past the original “good ol’ boys” networks. In the second decade of the 21st century, women participating in the current study are still reporting the “‘good ol’ boys’ network and culture of power” as the strongest cultural impediment to advancement within their institutions. Based on the findings of this study, recommendations are made to support emerging female leaders as well as to assist search committees and leaders at community colleges.