Campus Location

Dallas Campus (Online)

Date of Award



Document Type



Organizational Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Karan Duwe

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Mary Christopher

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Karmyn Downs


The goal of this qualitative case study was to revisit Bandura’s agency, self-efficacy theory, and Kram’s mentor theory to address the disproportionality between the number of men and women superintendents in Texas. Despite extensive female representation in classrooms, campus leadership, and central office positions, the number of women superintendents remained relatively unchanged for nearly a decade. Access to mentors, leadership pipelines, career pathways, and other factors was examined to identify current and prior barriers to promotion. Semistructured interviews gathered reflections and experiences from the lens of seven current women superintendents and six mentors of women superintendents. Survey responses from women superintendents were also collected. Thematic coding of interviews facilitated the analysis of the data. Findings included the potential benefits of increasing agentic behaviors and self-efficacy through supportive mentoring relationships before and after women entered the superintendency.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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