Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Interdisciplinary Studies

First Advisor

Joy-Anne D’Anca, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Teresa Grossane, Ed.D

Third Advisor

Edward Cannone, Ed.D.


This study investigates the impact of gender bias and lookism on female superintendents' careers on Long Island. Despite comprising the majority of teachers, women hold a significantly lower proportion of leadership positions. The research employed a mixed-method approach with quantitative and qualitative phases to explore this disparity. The findings reveal that gender bias and lookism significantly influence the career trajectories of female superintendents. Participants reported experiences of sexism, lookism, and ageism. They also highlighted the prevalence of "code-switching," adapting communication styles to navigate professional settings. Mentorship emerged as a valuable resource for career advancement, while acknowledging the additional challenges faced by women in leadership. The study emphasizes the need for systemic changes to address gender bias and promote equity in educational leadership. This includes dismantling deeply ingrained stereotypes, creating inclusive environments, and fostering mentorship programs tailored to women's needs. Future research recommendations include longitudinal studies, intersectional analyses, and comparative studies to gain a deeper understanding of these dynamics.

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