The goal in writing this book was to stimulate more comprehensive conversations about women in leadership situations (particularly secondary and tertiary education contexts) by understanding how women have gone about creating positive differences in educational environments.
Frequently books about women and leadership deal with the politics of this discussion space and the statistics of women succeeding to and through the glass ceiling, or not! The focus of this book is on a different space: on learning from the experiences of women doing leadership work.
The research strategy underpinning the book was to listen to the voices and stories of 28 women occupying senior roles in education. Half of these women were principals of independent Victorian secondary schools and the other half were in professorial and senior leadership roles in Victorian universities. Through this listening and pondering on their experiences the authors came to recognise that these women of influence were working in contested spaces and facing multiple practice dilemmas. Readers are invited to explore these spaces and dilemmas, considering the learnings from the women whose lives, views and experiences are represented here.