Dissertation

Exploring the Pathways Females Take to Technology Management in K-12 Public School Districts.

The problem addressed by this qualitative multiple case study was the underrepresentation of women in information technology (IT) management positions, referred to as technology director, in public school districts. Literature in the research review in educational leadership, female career choice in IT, and women working in IT revealed factors impacting female career choice and career progression in IT, as well as in education management. The theoretical framework in this study was based on the individual differences theory of gender and IT as defined by Trauth (2012). Emergent themes in findings were family responsibilities impacting career decisions, experiences that developed passions about using technology to improve learning, educational leadership interests, self-identification as a techie or an educator, early experiences that shaped career choices, communication abilities contributing to success, networking and being asked to apply helping career progression, and challenges of working in a male-dominated environment. This study found commonalities among seven women who successfully pursued the technology director role in a public school district. Key work experiences leading to the technology director position included technology management, education management, teacher training, and technical support. Further research on female technology directors is needed to broaden the perspective on the unique challenges of the position and to further define a career path to the position.

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