Educational Administration, Department of



Jill Channing

Date of this Version

Summer 2-2022

Document Type



Journal of Women in Educational Leadership, 2022

doi: 10.32873/unl.dc.jwel.205


Copyright © 2022 Jill Channing


This study focused on women higher education administrators’ experiences related to intersections of gender and work lives, using a narrative analysis research methodology. Women administrators shared stories of the influence of gender on their work lives. Participants “violated” gender norms by pursuing traditionally male-dominated careers, and some shared experiences of sex discrimination and/or witnessed phenomena such as the glass ceiling, sexual harassment, and various double binds related to gender stereotypes. Participants’ stories challenge the literature’s focus on barriers and gender-related challenges for women higher education administrators. Social constructions of gender, contexts, individual personalities, critical life events, among other factors inform these administrators’ perceptions and responses to workplace experiences and events. Prominent counter-narratives and themes emerged, including alternatives to formal mentors, substantial support, absence of or mitigating effects of obstacles, and equitable workplace environments, revealing the ways the participants often engage in feminist praxis.