Date of Award


Access Restriction


Degree Name

Doctorate in Education



School or College

School of Education

First Advisor

Shane P. Martin

Second Advisor

Jill Bickett

Third Advisor

Ana Ponce


While education is typically considered a feminized field, educational administration has long been dominated by males. This dissertation examines the historical reasons for this gender paradox and explores the challenges and opportunities specifically for novice female charter school principals through the theoretical frameworks of organizational socialization and social role theory. The dissertation studied 7 novice female charter school principals within their first 3 years in the role and utilized a qualitative methodology with semistructured interviews, focus groups, and field notes as data sources. Findings indicate that it is still difficult to be considered a good leader and a good female. Additionally, while females experience significant challenges related to their gender, opportunities for dramatically improving results for students and paving the way for other females are key opportunities for novice female charter school principals. The findings support the need for considering different ways to support novice female charter school principals.

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