Fitting in: Community college female executive leaders share their experiences-a study in west texas

Kristina Gill, Stephanie J. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Women who move into and work within administration in higher education face many struggles. Both the traits that are specific to most females and their leadership style can impede their rise into and within administrative ranks. In addition, higher education has traditionally been a hierarchical and patriarchal system that makes it more difficult for women to advance into administrative positions. Over the past few decades, women have been making significant increases in community college administration. Community colleges have been more accepting of women both as students and as faculty; and now, they are leading higher education in reaching gender parity in administration. Across the nation, women hold over 50 percent of the executive/administrative and managerial positions in community colleges. In contrast to the national numbers, women in West Texas are in the minority as administrators in community colleges. Using a naturalistic inquiry and case study format, this study investigated environmental factors in West Texascommunity colleges that contribute to the marginalization of four women in leadership roles. In addition, the study also investigated the perceived leadership style and the mentorship opportunities of these women. This research gives access to the success stories of women in community college administration. The stories of these women serve as models for other women wanting to move into the administrative ranks of community colleges.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-70
Number of pages23
JournalNASPA Journal About Women in Higher Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2013


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