Representation of women in top educational management and leadership positions: a case of ministry of education headquarters, Nairobi-Kenya
Osumbah, B. Amondi
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Under-representation of women in top educational management and leadership positions has had negative effects on girls' education, curriculum and national economic and social growth. The study therefore sought to investigate factors causing under representation of women in top educational management and leadership positions in the Ministry of Education headquarters. The study was guided by five questions which were: What is the distribution of educational personnel at the M.O.E. Headquarters by gender? What skills are important for top educational management and leadership positions and what gender possess them? What personality characteristics are important for top educational management and leadership positions and which gender possess them? What individual, organizational, and socio-cultural factors cause under representation of women at the top educational management and leadership positions? What strategies would improve the representation of women in top educational management and leadership positions? Descriptive survey design, utilizing quantitative and qualitative approach was used in the study. Stratified random sampling was used to categorise the target population of 161 educational personnel by level of management and gender. Simple random sampling was then used to get a study sample of 76 officers. Women in Management and Leadership Questionnaire and Women in Management and Leadership Interview Guide were used to gather information from the respondents. The questionnaire was piloted at the M.O.E. Headquarters before the study. Analysis of staff returns documents was done to get the numerical representation of the personnel by gender. Data were analysed using SPSS computer software employing descriptive statistics such as percentages, frequency distribution, mean scores, and standard deviations. The findings showed that 33.3 percent and 32.1 percent of top and middle management positions respectively were occupied by females at the M.O.E. headquarters. This was despite the fact that both male and female genders were rated `high' in possession of skills and personality characteristics the respondents considered important for top educational management and leadership positions. This under-representation was due to various organisational, socio-cultural and individual barriers in that descending order. Strategies to improve the representation of women in top educational management and leadership therefore focused on the girl child in school, women themselves, society, government policies, the Education Act and the country's constitution.