ED 285 264 EA 019 606
AUTHOR Randell, Shirley, Ed.
TITLE Making Progress: Women in Management in Primary 6
Secondary Education in Australia. Report of a
National Conference (3rd, Canberra, Australian
Capital Territory, Australia, August 1-4, 1985).
INSTITUTION Australian Capital Territory Schools Authority,
Canberra.; Australian Coll. of Education, Carlton,
REPORT NO ISBN-0-909587-35-3
PUB DATE Oct 85
NOTE 22 5p.
PUB TYPE Collected Works - Conference Proceedings (021) —
Reports - Descriptive (141)
EDBS PRICE MF01/PC09 Plus Postage.
DESCRIPTORS *Administrators ; Elementary Secondary Education;
*Equal Opportunities (Jobs); *Females; *Sex
Discrimination; *Women Faculty; Workshoos
This report describes the third conference that the
Australian College of Education has conducted on women in educational
administration in Australia. Over 150 educators attended, 90 percent
of whom were women. Meetings and workshops were designed to canvass
four major issues: (1) a political view of imperatives for change;
(2) research reports on women's current position in government and
non-government systems and schools; (3) progress reports; and (4) the
design of strategies for change. Following introductory essays by
Shirley Randell and Ros Kelly, the papers appear under three major
headings. Under the first heading, "The Current Situation for Women
in Management in Primary and Secondary Education," four papers are
listed: "Women Teachers and Promotion: A Search for Some
Explanations" (Shirley Sampson); "Women Principals in Australia"
(Judith Chapman); "Laywomen as Principals in Catholic Secondary
Schools?" (Janice Nash); and "Women in Management in Independent
Schools in Australia: Is Our Past Still Ahead of Us?" (Di Fleming).
Under "State Overviews," nine papers appear: "The Development of an
Equal Employment Opportunity Management Plan in New South Wales"
(Kerry Hyland); "Making the Invisible Visible in Victoria" (Veronica
Schwarz); I'Changing the Position of Women in the Primary Schools of
the Victorian Education Department" (Marilyn Jamieson and Barry
Sheehan); "Teaching: An Attractive Career for Women?" (Ann Scott and
Eddie Clarke); "The South Australian Experience" (John Steinle);
"Gender Equity Policy in the Education Department of Western
Australia" (Warren Louden); "Women in Educational Management in
Primary and Secondary Schools in Tasmania" (Beverly Richardson,
Margaret Lonergan and Jan Edwards); "Women in Educational Management
in the Northern Territory" (Lyn Powierza); and "Women in Educational
Mahsgement in the Australian Capital Territory" (Barry Price). Under
"Making Progress," six papers are listed: "Women in Management in
Unions" (Di Foggo and Jennie George); "Women as Candidates for
Educational Administration: A Second Interpretation" (Peter OBrien);
"Lessons from the Affirmative Action Pilot Program" (Maureen
Bickley); "Getting Past 'Shock-Horror': Stages in the Acceptance of
Equal Opportunity in an Organisation" (Hester Eisenstein); "Making
<^ gress" (Rosemary Gracanin); and "Toward the Year 2000--Ref lections
ERJCthe Nairobi End of the United Nations Decade for Women Forum and
^ " gOTi ference* (Gail Radford). Included are seven appendices. (MLH)
o««:i?k5J!?S2fRr:i^S^^^ -permission ;o reproduce thi
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0ER1 pos.t.on or policy INFORMATION CENTER (ERIC),"
.ri#;Ayfiip^iff ?^8S, * CiilffliBRlU, ACT
THE AUSTRALIAN COLLEGE OF EDUCATION
IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE
AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY SCHOOLS AUTHORITY
MAKING PROGRESS :
WOMEN IN MANAGEMENT IN
PRIMARY & SECON!lARY
EDUCATION IN AUSTRALIA
R^-PORT OF A NATIONAL CONFERENCE
1-4 AUGUST 1985, CANBERRA, ACT
The Australian College of Education,
Published by: The Australian College of Education
James Darling House
916 Swanston Street
Carlton, Vic. 3053
c The Australian College of Education
Copies may be made of material from this publication
without prior reference to the Australian College of
Education and the Australian Capital Territory Schools
Authority provided only that:
(i) they are used for educational purposes and
(ii) the source is acknowledged.
National Library of Australia Card Number and ISBN 0 909587 35 3
'At present my chances for promotion are so remote that I'll have to
work out some way of getting up the system, e,g, open positions. I'm
a bit cynical about them though. Some open positions appear to be
written for one person and you don't get a lot of encouragement
towards promotion if you're a so-called nice, middle-class married
lady. The fellows get the support and the career expectations, but
there's a lot of women who'll just accept what I'd see as a
subservient role. They really often do seem to get pushed around.
Some friends of mine are like that ~ the salary is good, the holidays
are good, they enjoy the sense of fulfillment ,,, it's not fulfilling
for me. They're very much the second income earners. If the kids
are sick, they are the ones to take time off. In our family it's
often easier for ipy husband to take time off when the children are
sick. I think a lot of the reason that there's so few women in
senior positions is societal conditioning and expectations of little
girls. They see themselves as serving and helping in secondary
roles. That, plus the fact that women teachers had to resign on
marriage in the past and be on temporary employment,'
Cited in: Sk inner, K. (1980) Wo/nen and Proutotion : sows women ' s
perceptions of the inf luences on their teaching careers
South Australian Education Department, Adelaide.
The editor is indebted to the following persons and organisations:
To Dr Greg Hancock, Chief Education Officer, and staff of
the Australian Capital Territory Schools Authority for
jointly sponsoring the enterprise.
To the Council of the Australian College of Education
through its Projects Committee, for funding and other
To government and non-government education authorities,
principal, teacher and parent associations for their support
in enabling representatives to attend the conference.
To the authors for their contributions.
To the Conference Steering Committee, the chairpersons of
conference sessions, the leaders of conference workshops and
all participants in the conference for their contribution.
S^ir ley RandeJl
The Australian College of Education is a professional association
which represents educators at all levels and in all parts of
Australia. Its members include infant school teachers; administrators
and teachers from the government and non-government sectors, primary
and secondary schools, universities and TAFE sectors.
The College is not affiliated with any political body, union or
other group. Its charter specifically excludes an industrial or
union-related role. It can, therefore, speak for education in an
objective' manner. In recent years the College has set out
deliberately to sponsor informed debate on a number of significant
issues affecting the Australian education community. A key issue of
interest to a high proportion of members relates to the role of women
in educational rranagement. In 1985 the College co-sponsored with the
ACT Schools Authority the third of the series of conferences
addressing this issue. Evidence of the significance of this issue is
found in the level of participation at each conference, support for
the recommendations arising from these and the popularity of the
proceedings. Within the College itself there has been a noticable
increase in the proportion of female members. Although women
currently represent about 25% of all members; in 1985 over 40t of new
members were women. This reflects the College's new emphasis on
equitable representation in all its activitie9. The moving force in
each of these developments has been the Prefi'ident-elect, Ms Shirley
Randell, I take this opportunity to congratulate her and her steering
committee on these initiatives.
The papers printed in this volume reflect the concerns of those
who attended this third conference. Their recommendations are
designed to contribute to current debate in all school systems. The
College is delighted 'to be able to publish the proceedings from this
important third conference in the hope of fur he" progress for women
in management in school systems.
Dr P B Botsman, A,M,
The Imperatives for Change H
THE CURRENT SITUATION FOR WOMEN IN MANAGEMENT IN PRIMARY
AND SECONDARY EDUCATION
Women Teachers and Promotion: a sear^ h for some 16
vJomen Principals in Australia 79
Laywomen as Principals in Catholic Secondary Schools? 46
Women in Management in Independent Schools in Australia: 51
is our past still ahead of us?
The Development of an Equal Employment Opportunity 57
Management Plan in New South Wales
Making the Invisible Visible in Victoria 61
Changing the Position of Women in the Primary Schools of
the Victorian Education Department
narilyn Jamieson and Barry Sheehan
Teaching: an attractive career for women? 81
Ann Scott and Eddie Clarke
The South Australian Experience 100
Gender Equity Policy in the Education Department of 104
Women in Managemeiit in Primary and Secondary Schools in HI
Beverley Richardson, Margaret Lonergan and Jan Edwards
Women in Educational Management in the Northern Territory 119
Women in Educational Management in the Australian Capital 122
Women In Management in Unions 129
Di Foggo and Jennie George
Women as Candidates for Educational Administration: 137
a second Interpretation
Lessons from the Affirmative Action Pilot Program 156
Getting Past 'Shock-Horror': stages in the acceptance of 161
equal employment opportunity in an organisation
Making Progress ^
Towards the Year 2000 - Reflections on the Nairobi End of
the United Nations Decade for Women Forum and Conference
Appendix 1 Recommendations and Strategies
Appendix 2 Participants
Appendix 3 Issues for Discussion at Pre-Conf erence
Appendix 4 Issues from Introd ictory Workshops
Appendix 5 List of Resources and Papers Produced by the
Education Department of Western Australia on
Gender Equity In Education
Appendix 6 Proposed Procedures and Criteria for
Evaluation for Promotion in the Education
Department of Western Australia
Appendix 7 Contributors to this Publication
When *The Year of Women' was first announced it was considered by
many men and women to be a rather humorous event • But the declaration
by the United Nations of International Women's Year and the subsequent
Decade for Women have been instrumental in raising awareness of
women's issues in all countries of the world.
New initiatives, original research and ground-breaking decisions
have emerged from the Year and women realise that this new awareness
is still only beginning. The Decade for Women has brought home to
many that women are half the world's people and ^hold up half the
sky'; that women represent half the world's wisdom, strength, labour
force and intelligence.
Women are a factor in public life which can no longer be
overlooked; they have been taking initiatives and pioneering
activities for justice, development, peace and equality in education
and in many other fields. Society's great institutions, including the
church, the law and education, hav become aware of their often
oppressive attitudes about women.
It is thus fitting that this publication which records progress in
Australian schools and school sypteins towards the participation of
women in educational decision making is published in the year which
celebrates the End of the Decade for Women. Equal employment
opportunity is now recognised as Justifiable on the grounds of equity,
efficiency and effectiveness. While there is still a long way to go
before equality of opportunity in Australian society is attained, the
way ahead is clearer and a start has been made upon it.
Schools and school systems have a great responsibility to become a
credible sign of a truly inclusive community of women and men, by
transforming their structures and abandoning all discrimination and
marginalisat ion based on sex, race or class.
In 1982 the national Projects Committee of the Australian College
of Education declared the issue of the participation of women in
educational management to be a priority. In February 1983 the Council
approved a grant for a national conference as the first stage of a
national assessment of this topic. The Council approved a further
grant in 1984 towards the sponsoring, jointly with the Institute of
Higher Education, UniverrHy of New England, Armidale, of a second
conference on the participation of women in higher education
management. The proceedings of these conferences have been published
in Changing F^cus: The Participation of Vomen in Educational
ttanagement in Au^tra 1 i a and The Way Forward* Women in tUgher
Education nanagement in Australia . This publication reports the
proceedings of a third conference in the series, jointly sponsored in
1985 by the College and the Australian Capital Territory Schools
Authority, on the participation of women in mana^emerit in primary and
secondary education in Aistralia.
Aims and Outcomes
The aims of the conference were:
to share knowledge about the extent of participation of women in
educational management and the policies, programs and processes
being developed by practitioners in the systems and schoolts;
to identify attitudinal and structural barriers to greater
participation by women in educational management;
to access avenues for the prof e ;'3ional development of women in
to formulate proposals for action consistent with the principles
of equity in relation to decision-making structures, curriculum
offerings, industrial relations, ant i- discr iminat ion legislation,
financial planning, policy formulation and personnel;
to disseminate findings throughout Australia;
to recommend appropriate action to the participating
Invitations were sent to directors-general of all State and
Territory education departments in Australia requesting tliem to
support the conference by sending a team of men and women, including a
senior administrator, a senior policy maker, a member of the equal
employment opportunity committee, a '-egional administrator, a
secondary school principal and a primary school principal. In
addition, invitations were extended to national and state Catholic
education offices and independent school associations, government and
- 2 -
non-governmant principal, teacher and parent asBociations and to
senior women known to be interested In the topic. This group included
Aboriginal women and women from non-^English speaking backgrounds.
The response was gratifying - over one hundred and fifty people
attended, although less than 10 per cent were men (Appendix 2).
Pre~Conf erence Activity
Prior to the conference a set of education readings was
dictiibuted to all participants. Theoe included the recommendations
relating to higher education from the 1983 Melbourna Conference on the
Participation of Women in Educational Management, a paper by Eileen
Byrne ^Legislative and non-legislative concepts of direct and indirect
discrimination', a preliminary report by Shirley Sampson ^Teachers and
promotions study, 1984', publications by Judith Chapman Selection and
Appointment of Australian School Principals and Veronica Schwarz
Women in the Education Department of Victoria, and abstracts of
papers to be presented at the conference.
A set of issues for consideration was also included for discussion
at pr e-conf erence meetings which were held in most States (See
The conference, held on 1-4 August 1985 at the O'Connell Education
Centre of the ACT Schools Authority in Canberra, was organised by a
steering committee consisting of system udmini strators and school
principals from the Authority, members of the College's national
projects committee, a management educator, the director of the
Commonwealth Schools' Commission's Education of Girls Unit, and
corresponding members nominated by the directors-general of state
education departr. ents.
Three workshop groups were arranged. The first workshop groups,
representative of levels of education, states and interests, met once
to identify issues of concern to participants. These issues were
synthesised into areas for ten workshops and participants elected to
attend one of them (Appendix 4). This second series of workshops met
six tiines to analyse key issues, consider questions and form
recommendations and strategies. The third workshop groups focussed on
state location and were designed to stimulate the formation of local
networks and the organisation of follow up meetings.
The program was designed to canvass four major issues; a political
view of the imperatives for change; research reports on the current
position of women in government and non-government systems and
schools ; reviews of progress being made across Australia, and the
design of strategies for change.
The conference was opened by the Chief Education Officer of the
ACT Schools Authority, Dr Greg Hancock, who welcomed participants to
Canberra. The immediate past President of the Australian College of
Educat^'on, Professor William Walker, provided some background to the
event. The Commonwealth Minister for Education, Senator Susan Ryan,
was unable to attend because of cabinet commitments and Mrs Ros Kelly,
ERIC - ^ -
MHR, Member for Canberra gave the opening address. She outlined three
imperatives for change: firstly, the importance of redressing the
obvious inequalities that exist in education systems; secondly, the
need to encourage organisations to utilise all the human resources
available to them an efficient and effective way; thirdly, the need
to acknowledge the skflls and abilities of all the components of
On Friday morning the opening session was devoted to a report from
Dr Shiri.ey Sampson, Senior Lecturer in Education, Monash University on
a national 1984 survey of qualifications and prior experience. The
report examined perceptions of discrimination and attitudes to
promotion of 2,380 female and male teachers in primary and secondary
schools in all states. It was found that women teachers wanted
promotion for similar reasons to men but that they had not been
allocated apprenticeship' experiences to administrative roles* Tasks
distributed by principals and senior staff were quite unequally
allocated to men. An analysis of perceptions of discrimination
revealed uniformity in the views of many women and men* Dr Sampson's
study provided substantial evidence of the importance of a small
number of factors which retard women's advancement and must be dealt
with by education systems*
Other sessions on the first day outlined the current situation for
women in management in pr imar y and secondary education in both
government and non-government sectors* Dr Judith Chapmman, Senior
Lecturer in Education, Monash University, reported the results of two
major national studies on Australian school principals* In addition
to providing important benchmark data on the personal and professional
characteristics of principals and detailed information on the
procedures adopted in principal selection, the studies drew attention
to alarming statistics* In 1983 only 23 per cent of Australian school
principals were female, and recent evidence about principal selection
in Victoria where community participation has been introduced showed a
deteriorating situation for women* Dr Chapman made suggestions about
the constitution of selection committees, the consideration of
evidence, the framing of interview questions and the procedures fc^r
reaching decisions* She argued that local selection committees must
be er'ucated to look analytically at what constituted an effective
principal in order to avoid a reliance on traditional images of
leaders and stereotypic notions of leadership behaviour*
Ms Janice Hash, English/History Co-ordinator at St Andrew's
Cathedral School in the Sydney Archdiocese, New South Vales, reported
on research she had conducted examining why there were so few laywomen
as principals in Catholic secondary schools. The numbers of men and
women from the teaching orders capable of filling executive positions
bar declined and male lay principals have generally replaced the
re.Mgious* Unintentional systemic discrimination included
ineligibility because of lack of experience in administratioii, the
expectation that women will spend more time at the classroom level and
the lack of incidental professional training. Factors attributed to
women teachers themselves included lack of aspiration, ambition and
self-confidence* Societal attitudes, beliefs and practices were also
seen to prejudice women in the promotional stakes. In particular, the
Catholic church was perceived as endorsing traditional attitudes
towards the role cf women in Australian society. Realistic strategies
to lessen the disadvantages for women seeking promotion positions in
Catholic educatic.i were suggested*
A case study was used by Ms Di Fleming, Vice President of the
Australian Council for Educational Administration, to illustrate one
administrative response to co-education in relation to the position of
women in educational management in independent schools. The co-
educational movement has led to many women in single-sex schools
losing their management positions to men. In Victoria the principals
of all coeducational and single sex schools for boys are men whereas
less then 50 per cent of the principals of girls schools are women.
The second day of the conference was devoted to State experience,
with the emphasis on positive steps being taken to redress the balance
for women in management.
Ms Kerry Hyland, Equal Employment Opportunity Co-ordinator , New
South Wales Department of Education, reported on the Department's
Equal Employment Opportunity Management Plan for the Education
Teaching Service. The management plan provides a profile of relevant
departmental policies, practices and personnel against which changes
can be measured.
The plan involves a review of personnel practices including
recruitment techniques, selection criteria, conditions of service and
transfer, and promotion patterns and opportunities. Strategies
developed by senior officers in the department will improve personnel
practices and the representation of women at various levels in the
Education Teaching Service.
There were two contributions from Victoria. Ms Veronica Schwarz,
Policy and Planning Officer, Education Department of Victoria,
reported on her research detailing the basic data on the position of
women in the department in 1984, The number of women in senior
positions in the teaching service since formal equality was instituted
in Victoria in 1972 has actually deteriorated, and the distribution of
male and fema}e teachers in 1984 was no better than in 1925 when
artificial ratios were created to limit the number of women in danior
positions. Ms Schwarz argued that the invisible barriers of attitudes
ana social expectations must also be highlighted - made visible ar^d
highly unacceptable. She drew attention to the sexual division of
labour and the current concept of masculinity as two of the most basic
impediments to women's progress. The status of women will only change
as the relationships of men and women are radically changed, beginning
with focusing equal opportunity programs equally on girls and boys,
their attitudes to themselves and each other.
Ms Marilyn Jamieson, Senior Education Officer, Education
Department of Victoria and Dr Barry Sheehan, Director^ Melbourne
College of Advanced Education, examined the common traditional
perception of primary teaching as both a female occupational
stronghold and, until recent years, a fail-safe route for social
mobility against the perspective of gross gender imbalances in favour
of men at the senior levels of primary school administration and
beyond. The relative absence of women from senior administrative
levels was explored in terms of several standard explanatory models.
Ms Jamieson and Dr Sheehan argued that primary education could be a
- 5 - 'J 5
particularly vulnerable sector for a major and effective strategic
push for redress of structural imbalances in the system, and that the
career structure itself should be the subject of critical focus*
The Queensland paper, by Dr Ann Scott and Dr Eddie Clarke,
Education Officers in the Policy and Information Services Branch of
the Queensland Department of Education, was in three parts* Following
a brief overview of the history of women in educational management in
Queensland, recent developments in the United States were described
and a hypothesis developed about the future of teaching and education
management as a career path for women* This hypothesis was tested
against Queensland statistics to show that assumptions upon which
women's career structures and opportunities were based in the past are
now inappropriate* Overall career structures within the teaching
profession should be re-examined to ensure the quality of education in
Australia, as well as to meet the sectional interests of women*
Mr John Steinle, Director-General of Education, South Australian
Education Department, described structural changes introduced in South
Australia to encourage women to seek managerial/promotional posts* He
identified distinct and positive differences in the way senior women
in South Australia approached and performed their Jobs and anticipated
the development of more gender-inclusive models of management which
would be far more attractive to aspiring women* Mr Steinle paid
particular attention to the desirability of moving out of an era in
which discriminatory practices were curtailed into one where
differences in the workplace and the social responsibilities that
v/omen have traditionally fulfilled are valued*
Dr Warren Louden, Deputy Director-General of Education, outlined
the dramatic changes over the last two years in policy on gender
equity in the curriculum and in staffing in the Education Department
of Western Australia* From a curric«^lum point of view a substantial
program of system support for schools has been introduced* The aim is
to facilitate the development in every school and classroom of an
action-oriented policy on gender equity* With respect to staffing
policies and practices, the last of the regulations which directly
discriminated against women was removed in 1984* A number of other
changes * '^ve introduced employment conditions specifically geared to
further x. .e interests of women teachers* Further, a program of
affirmative action to increase the number of women in promotional
positions has begun* Dr Louden provided an overview of these
initiatives, pointing out both the successes and the hurdles still to
The Tasmanian paper was presented by three women : Beverley
Richardson, Deputy Director (Student Services), Jan Edwards, Sen jr
Education Officer in the Tasmanian Education Department, and Margaret
Lonergan, a Primary Representative from the Tasmanian Teachers
Federation* The results of the Tasmanian Teacher Mobility Stvdy
were reported and strategies to encourage women to apply for positions
were outlined* They described the work in schools to change attitudes
of both boys and girls*
Dr Barry Price, Senior Director (Resources) , ACT Schools Authority,
described the current limited representation of women in the ACT
Schools Authority* He outlined the major? ^rriers to improvement as
In reporting lesBons to be learned trom the Commonwealth's
Affirmative Action Pilot Program, Ms Maureen Bickley, Consultant,
Affirmative Action Resource Unit, Office of the Status of Women,
Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, reviewed the results of the
voluntary participation of 28 of Australia's leading companies and
three higher education institutions in the program* Participants in
the program have undertaken a series of steps designed to introduce
affirmative action for women into their organisations and each has
pursued an individual program with these steps forming the common
framework. The program has made it obvious that increasing women's
participation in non-traditional areas requires a concerted effort by
both employers and educators. Employers need to ensure that there are
no barriers present in their personnel policies and practices* The
education sector should accelerate activities designed both to prepare
women and girls for non-traditional work and encourage them actively
to seek such work*
Ms Hester Eisenstein, Assistant Director, Office of Equal
Employment Opportunity in Public Employment, New South Wales focused
on successful strategies adopted as part of the affirmative action
program by the New South Wales Government to increase the numbers of
women in management positions. She drew examples from the experience
of tertiary education institutions, the education department,
techT ical and further education institutions and other public service
In summarising the theme of the conference ^Making Progress' Ms
Rosemary Gracanin, Assistant Director of Education, Education
Department of South Australia tried to untangle ths ^web of stretched
rubber bands' which had become evident during the conference.
Participants had />ained a clearer picture of current practice but
confirmed that there was still a long way to go, with only 23 per cent
of women in principal positions. However, women were beginning to
feel secure as part of a national network of able, capable, successful
men. At this conference men participated as speakers and full-time
members and contributed to the feeling of equality as participants
helped each other in a non-competitive way, showing that men and women
can function in a co-operative, collaborative manner in overcoming the
inequality of women in management positions. She highlighted emerging
issues as selection procedures for senior positions, composition of
panels, social attitudes towards women in management, the changing
role of the manager, personal career planning and research.
Papers delivered at the conference are included in the main body
of the report and the background of contributors is listed in
Recommendations developed in workshops were presented during the
closing plenary session of the conference (Appendix 1). The response
of workshops was overwhelming. Most recommendations were based on
principles enunciated throughout the conference: namely, the
fundamental right of women and men to be equally responsible for the
management of schools and education systems; equitable representation
of women and men in policy formulation and decision making in schools
and education systems; improved access to professional development in
- 8 -
management which may entail special provision for women and improved
information collection and dissemination relating to educational
management. Thfc recommendations were wide ranging, covering policy
and programs, funding, structure, statistics, personnel, professional
development and research and were directed to the Australian College
of Education, the Commonwealth Schools Commission, the Office of the
Status of Vomen, Commonwealth and State Departments, government and
non-government education systems, and authorities, teachers' unions
and participants. The recommendations were subsequently forwarded to
all participants for endorsement.
Since the conference the Council of the Australian College of
Education and the ACT Schools Authority have approved the publication
of the report and referred recommendations to relevant people,
authorities and organisations. f^tate action groups have met to
continue the momentum beyond the conference. Progress has been made
in the area of women in educational management but that progress is
still alarmingly slow and more needs to be done.
The Canberra conference was a fruitful third stage of the
Australian College of Education's national assessment of the
participation of women in educational management. In 1986 the College
hopes to sponsor a fourth conference which will focus on some of the
issues raised since 1983*
In closing the conference Shirley Randell referred again to the
Nairobi Non~Gover nment Organisations Forum and United Nations
Conference to mark the end of the UN Decade for Women on Equality,
Development and Peace. A report of these meetings was given at the
conference dinner by Dr Gail Radford, Director of the Equal Employment
Opportunity Bureau, Commonwealth Public Service Board and Salamo
Fulivai, a Tongan participant. A major outcome of the UN meetings had
been an acknowledgment that the struggle of women for change cannot be
isolated from the struggle of other marginalised groups; blacks, the
poor and oppressed. And indeed women's struggle for change cannot be
successful without the support of men. Women especially need to be
united in their efforts to change the world, even though there may be
diversity in those efforts, working non-violently , patiently, learning
from each other how to change the unjust structures of society. Women
need to act, to speak up, to assert themselves at home, at work and in
the community. This struggle for change is one for strong, sensitive
women to engage in, and is delightfully captured Marge Piercy's
poem For strong women.
A strong woman is a woman who is straining.
A strong woman xS a woman standing
on tiptoe and lifting a barbell
while trying to eing Boris Godunov.
A strong woman is a woman at work
cleaning out the cesspool of the ages,
and while she shovels, shr. talks about
how she doesn't mind crying, it opens
the ducts of the eyes, and throwing up
develops the stomach muscles, and
she goes on shoveling with tears
in her nose.
A strong woman is a woman in whose head
a voice is repeating, I told you so,
ugly, bad girls, bitch, nag, shrill, witch,
ballbuster, nobody will ever love you back,
why aren't you feminine, why aren't
you soft, why aren't you quiet, why
aren't you dead?
A strong woman is a wouan determined
to do something others are determined
not be done. She is pushing up on the bottom
of a lead coffin lid. She is trying to raise
a manhole cover with her head, she is trying
to butt her way through a steel wall.
Her head hurts. People waiting for the hole
to be made say, hurry, you're so strong.
A strong woman is a woman bleeding
inside. A strong woman is a woman making
herself strong every morning while her teeth
looEen and her back throbs. Every baby,
a tooth, midwives used to say, and now
every battle a scar. A strong woman
is a mass of scar tissue that aches
when it rains and wounds that bleed
when you bump them and memories that get up
in the night and pace in boots to and fro.
A strong woman is a woman who craves love
like oxygen or she turns blue choking.
A strong woman is a woman who loves
strongly and weepB strongly and is strongly
terrified and has strong needs. A strong woman is strong
in words, in action, in connection in feeling;
she iiS not strong as a stone but as a wolf
suckling her /oung. Strength is not in her, but she
enacts it as the wind fills a sail.
What comforts her is others loving
her equally for the strength and for the weakness
from which it issues, lightning fiom a cloud.
Lightning stuns. In rain, the clouds dispeise.
Only water of connection remains,
flowing through us. Strong is what we make
each other. Until we are all strong together,
a strong woman is a woman strongly afraid.
Marge Piercy, The Moon is
THE IMPERATIVES FOR CHAl^GE
This is the third conference that the Australian College of
Education has conducted on women in educational management in
Australia. The Australian College of Education ie to be conunended for
organising this serie^3 of conferences and for the work it has done in
raising debate about the issues relating to women in education. It is
pleasing that the Australian Capital Territory Schools Authority is
co-operating with the College in sponsoring this particular conference
which will concentratc3 on the needs of women to obtain management
positions in primary and secondary education, both in schoolu and
systems throu.^hout Australia.
The serious imbalance that exists in the relative positions of
women and men across the whole spectre of education in Australia is
well known. It is enough to look at the statistics for school
principals. While almost 60 per cent of teachers in Australia are
women, 76 per cent of school principals are men. And rather than
improving, this situation is tending to deteriorate as single-sex
schools become coeducational and women principals are replaced by men.
The first imperative for change then must be to rectify the
obvious inequalities that exist iu education systems and introduce
measures to overcome them.
Many reasons have been put forward in the past to explain the
enormous imbalance that exists between the number of women employed in
our schools and the number that occupy senior adminis ' -ati ve or
management positions. The situation of men in the higher
administrative posts and women in the lower sections of the hierarchy
persists not only in the schools but in the school systems as well.
Women have been accused of not wanting promotion, not being as
mobile as men and not being as qualified as men. Women teachers it
has been said, have not sought promotion because of their outside
family responsibilities and because they have regarded their husband's
careers as more important.
While there may have been some elements of truth for some women in
these allegations in the past, recent research, particularly that
carried out by Dr Shirley Sampson, has shown that there is very little
basis for these assumptions today. The structures and attitudes
within the education organisation should be examined more closely,
especially the tired old myths and attitudes about women's
capabilities which have handicapped women across the full breadth of
Women are perceived as being subordinate and dependent with no
administrative potential. Consequently their participation in the
school system has been largely confined to the humanities and junior
primary levels. Men, on the other hand, are seen as the leaders, the
administrators and the teachers of mathematics and science. As a
result of these attitude'i, when the out-of-classroom activities are
allocated in pchoola, all too frequently the male teachers are given
the a.'.mini8t fat ive and organisational tasks and women are left with
the caring and supportive roles.
This situation persists In spite of the fact that in schools with
largely female staff, wosinn havo demonstrated th^ir ability to perform
competently the range of duties and tasks required in school
organisation and administration. Their non-participation in those
same activities when there are male teachers on the staff indicates
some deliberate decision making and perceptions about the relative
abilities of men and women teachers. The rerult of this selective
allocation of tasks i& that while women obviously have the ability to
undertake administrative tasks, they are not given the opportunity to
gain experience in this area and are therefore seriously hampered in
the promotion stakes.
Vomen are also disadvantaged when seniority is a major
consideration for promotion. Many women take breaks in their careers
of up to tGn years to devote themselves to child bearing and raising.
Are thsse years of caring and relating to children and educating them
outside the fi.rmal structures of no value?.
If we limit the opportunities for women in our systems and schools
we are denying those systems and schools of a pool of talent which
could be tapped to make the best use of the hum&n resources available
to them. Our second imperative must be to encourage organisations to
utilise all the human resources available to them in an efficient and
Utilising Human Resources
The commonwealth government is committed to encouraging policies
which enable women who wish to ent(^r the labour force to participate
fully in employment. In 19S4, the government enacted the Sex
Discrimination Act. In doing so i' was i^cognised that, as important
as anti-discrimination policies are, they cannot by themselves improve
women's position in the labour market or totally open up a greater
range of Jobs to women. Nor can the> ensure *"hat women can compete on
equal terms with men for protriotion. For these reasons additional
measures are required to enable women to improve their labour market
In June 1984 the Prime h*. ister tabled in Parliament a policy
discussion paper on affirmative action for women. One of the
proposals arising from this paper was the setting up of the
Affirmative Action Pilot Program involving twenty-ei^ht of
Australia's leading private sector compani es and three hi gher
education institutions. There have been a^ least two outcomes of the
pilot program, which are relevant for this conference.
Firstly, the pilot has produced tangible results in terms of
revised recruitment advertising which encourages girls and women to
apply for the full range of Jobs available. Already some companies
ar? reporting more applications from women. Data bases have been
established by individual organisations to identify women's current
- 12 -
position in their labour force and perfeonnel policies and practices
have been reviewed to eliminate any discriminatory practices. Career
counselling and special training programs for women have been
established or extendea. Women's networks have developed and will
maintain the momentum created by the pilot program. As well unions
are beginning to take a more active role both Ki Lhin their own
organisations and in preparing their members for an active role with
employers on affirmative action isFues. These are all real
improvements for women workers.
Secondly, the pilot program was essentially a matter of
accelerating labour market processes. Changes which have occurred in
patterns of women's employment have been far too slow. These
organisations accelerated their activities and at their final meeting
in Canberra on 28 June 1985 they called on the education ticcto'* to
accelerate its activities - to play its role in equipping and
encouraging girls to apply for the non-traditional Jobs now open to
them - to challenge more vigorously the concept of women's Jobs and
Each sector has had the excuse that the other was not initiating
change; the schools blaming the employers and the employers blaming
the schools. And we cannot deny that our education system is
responsible for many of the attitudes that permeate our society. It
may not have initiated them but it has certainly r3inforced the
status quo rather than been an agent of reform.
Australia can only be enhanced by providing the groups within
society with the opportunity to work to their full abilities and
extend their capabilities. The third imperative for change must be to
improve Australia as a place to live and work by acknowledging the
skills and abilities of all the components of its population. A
society which is stratified and role-confined is '"estricted in its
ability to be dynamic and f orwa. d thinking. This is particularly
important in the education system which plays such a significant role
in framing the values and attitudes of young people.
Acknowledging Skills and Abilities
The fact that women are substantially under-represented in
executive positions in schools has farreachlng consequences for boys'
and girls' attitudes. Teachers provide models of sex-appropriate
behaviour for their students. What has happened in the past is that
young women aspired to be classroom teachers and no more because that
was the female role in education with which they were most familiar.
Mathematics and science teachers tended to be male and so reinforced
the idea that these subjects were not female ones.
Girls' aspirations and choices have been shown to be closely
related to messages in the media and school materials and in
traditional school arrangements. School curricula have tended to
reinforce girls' perceptions of themselves as subordinates to, and
less competent than, boys and their values and opinions as less
important than those of males. A non-sexist approach should permeate
the whole curriculum with emphasis on skills and understanding which
are valuable to both girls and boys. Influences which limit girls'
potential also limit their ability to contribute to the life of the
The commonwealth government has taken a number of initiatives to
diversify and expand girls' educational skills and experiences. It
recognises that this is essential to increasing the numbers of
qualified women able to take advantage of affirmative action programs
Since becoming Minister for Education, Senator Susan Ryan haa
taken steps to ensure that the needs of women and girls have been
catered for under al] the commonwealth's programs in education at the
primary, secondary and tertiary levels. She has requested that all
portf'^li agencies include the names of women in panels of names of
persons submitted for her consideration for appointments within the
portfolio* This has resulted in a significant increase in the number
of women appointed to the education commissions and other senior
appointments, including the secretary of her department, since 1983.
The ACT Situation
The ACT Schools Authority endorsed an Equal Opportunity Policy in
September 1984. This policy gives a commitment to non-discriminatory
policies and practices as well as undertaking to monitor the effects
of these and to introduce affirmative action programs.
However, in the ACT there are particular problems promoting women
to promotional positions in our school system because of the size of
When the ACT school system was first created with additional
Band 3 positions, those with Band 2 qualifications had the opportunity
to move quickly. Also some teachers stayed with the New South Wales
system and many Band 4 positions became vacant. However, most of the
people appointed in 1974 are still in those positions and most are
men. In fact, these days there is very little movement in the system.
Many women have Band 3 eligibility but there are no positions for them
to move to.
An example, is a friend of mine: she has had 25 years teaching
experience and in 1974 was a Band 2 when the change occurred. In 1977
she was an acting Band 3 but in 1985 is still a Band 2. She has
applied for five Band 3 positions and has had two on higher duties
(Acting Band 3) but still no substantive position.
This is a fundamental problem which must be addressed if women are
to obtain equality in our school system and the question must be
addressed because the character of each school in the ACT is very much
determined by the principals of the school. That is not to say that
all male principals are incompetent, rather that there should be role
models for women in schools and colleges in the top positions and
opportunities for good women teachers to get through the system.
In this conference one of the issues which should oe examined is
the question of establishing all~firl classes in mathematics and
science. Overseas research has indicated that even with teachers most
sensitive to the needs of girls, the majority of face-to-face
teachers' time in mixed classes goes to the demanding boys, especially
at the high school level.
This conference provides the opportunity to explore the
initiatives that each state and territory has been undertaking and to
clarify ideas about what progress has been made, what more can be done
and how it can best be done. The results will be of considerable
interest to the commonwealth government.
- 15 -
THE CURRENT SITUATION FOR WOMEN IN
PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION
WOMEN .TEACHERS. AND PROMOTION; A SEARCH FOR SOME EXPLANATIONS
During third term 1984 with the help of all teacher unions
affiliated with the Australian Teachers' Federation, and with
financial assistance from Monash University, a questionnaire was sent
to a J per cent sample of union members in schools in each state and
territory. Its purpose was to seek information from women and men
concerning experiences, motivations and activities related to
promotion within the public teaching services in which they worked.
Without follow-up contact replies were received from 2,380 teachers a
response rate of 55 per cent of whom 61 per cent were ferrale and 39
per cent male. This paper reports findings from that study.
Teachers who replied to the questionnaire used in this study
clearly were those who were concerned or involved in issues to do with
promotion and no further effort was made to secure a larger sample.
This group may not be adequately representative of those women and men
for whom promotion is entirely irrelevant but they represent an
adequate sample of teacher union members from every state as shown in
SURVEY RESPONSES FROM EACH STATE
Quest iopnai res Repl ies
as a percentage as a percentage
New South Wales 28.57 29.91
Northern Territory 1,29 1.38
Australian Capital Territory 2.07 2.^*7
Victoria 29.71 29.53
South Australia 8.57 8.40
Western Australia 8.20 10.97
Queensland 15.14 13.15
Tasmania 3.71 4,20
Total sample: 100 per cent = 140,000 100 per cent ^ 2,380
Evidence from all states in Australia shows that women teachers
are still at, or close to, the bottom of all education employment
hierarchies. Since th:s is their situation and since so many legal
barriers have heen removed which previously blocked their upward
career paths, it could be expected that there would now be large
numbers of talented women applying for promotion. This is not the
- 16 ~
Whereas 46 per cent of male respondents in this study had applied
for promotion in the last five years, only 24 per cent of women had
done 80. Of these, over 50 per cent were between the ages of 30 and
39 years, in fact over 70 per cent were under the age of 40* Thus it
is younger women who now form the bulk of applicants.
More teachers (37 per cent female l .d 48 per cent male) had
applied for promotion within the school in which they were teaching.
While such wi thi n-school appointments could be used as valuable
experience they are generally not permanent and would not secure a
footing on the career hierarchy of any departmental workforce.
In this survey a minority of respondents clearly rejected the idea
of promotion altogether (about 9 per cent) but among those who
expected to reach a higher level in the future women aspired less
highly than men. Forty-two per cent expected to remain as class
teachers compared with 15 per cent of men. Thirty-two per cent of
women and 31 per cent of men aimed to become senior mistress or master
but 44 per cent of men and only 17 per cent of women dought
principalships or work as a central or regional office administrator.
Reponses reported here show that a much smaller proportion of
women than men are seeking promotion of any kind and reasons were
sought to explain this sex difference. Respondents were asked to
describe the importance to them of a number of reasons commonly given
^or seeking or not seeking promotion.
Reasons for Seeking Promotion
On matters related to their professional lives, men and women
showed somewhat similar levels of motivation. The challenge of more
responsibility and the opportunity to influence the system, the
organisation of schools or the curriculum were important or very
important to over 60 per cent of all female and male respondents and
the differences in responses of each sex were small and not
A slightly greater proportion of female than male respondents (44
per cent female and 39 per cent male, ns) were interested in promotion
because they were dissatisfied with their present position or because
they wanted a change of subject or particular responsibility (52 per
cent female and 49 per cent male, ns). Much more important was
resistance by women to getting right out of the classroom as 63 per
cent (of 46 per cent men) said that an important reason for not
applying for promotion was that they would have less teaching
- 17 -
time with pupils (p<0. 001)1. So, although more than half of all women
seek responsibility or a change in their present position they do not
want to lose touch with their students. This finding could well
explain some of women's reluctance to apply for oromotion compared
with men, for whom this was not such an important factor.
Financial reward. Salary is a more important influence for men than
women both as a reason for applying for promotion (71 per cent male
and 62 per cent female) and as a reason for not applying. Sixty per
cent male and 48 per cent female named 'lack of financial incentive'
as important or very important. Sex differences were significant for
all responses but most significant among those indicating that an
increase in salary was a very important reason for seeking promotion
(31 per cent male and 21 per cent female, p<0.001). Despite these
findings it is obvious that a majority of women teachers are
interested in salary as a reason for proniotion (62 per cent) thus,
this factor does not explain why they are not applying as often as
Family related reasons for not seeking promotion. Much greater
differences between men's and women's motivation towards promotion
emerged when family related factors were considered. Although more men
had children living in the same household (62 per cent male but only
38 per cent female) women were much more likely to be solely
responsible for a child for more than four hours per day(65 per cent
of women who had children living in the household compared with 28 per
cent of men, p<0.0001). Also, although there were 62 per cent of
women who had no children living in the household, women teachers
across all age groups did much mere housework of various kinds than
men (88 per cent female and 65 per cent male performed three or more
tasks for themselves as well as others, p<0.001).
The second shift. In line w*'h these family responsibilities,
women, far more often than men, named as reacons for not seeking
promotion that they felt unable to cope with the extra demands and
responsibilities (37 per cent female and 20 per cent male, p<0.0001);
that they were reluctant to devote the necesseary time to extra
responsibilities (56 per cent female and 39 per cent male, p<0.0001);
that they perceived a conflict of after-school commitments and
domestic responsibilities (63 per cent female and 52 per cent male,
p<0.01). Clearly these factors illustrate a most important reason why
many women do not seek promotion. If it is important to incorporate
women's as well as men's experience into decision making within our
schools and systems the burden of women's family responsibilities must
be faced squarely. Women's family ties have also been used to explain
their reluctance to apply widely for more senior positions and may
help to explain why more women are applying for positions within
schools than for promotion generally.
Certainly women, more often than men, gave their partner's career as
an important reason for their unwillingness to seek promotion (54 per
1. All statistical tfsts of significance used in this paper are chi-
cent female and 40 per cent male, p<0.001). However, when asked
whether their own career was less, equally or more important to the
household than their partner's, 61 per cent of women replied that
their own career was equally or more important (these responses were
given by 67 per cent of men).
nobility for promotion . In addition, 38 per cent of women (though
more men, as might be expected, 55 per cent) replied that they would
be prepared to take a Job which necessitated moving and a chonge of
job for their partner.
From findings such as these it can hardly be alleged that large
numbers of women are not taking their careers seriously. This factor
(lack of mobility) is no longer quite such an important factor as it
may have been in times past for women. Men's careers, too, are now
influenced by that of their partner. Forty per cent of male
respondents named their partner's career as equally important and 45
per cent replied that they would not take an appointment which meant a
change of job for their spouse.
Men are not so mobile now. These findings help to explain a rather
unexpected finding Indicating men's reduced mobility. Evidence from
the questionnaire showed that of men who had applied for promotion in
the last five years, 89 per cent had applied for less than five
positions (compared with 95 per cent of women). It is still true
that a greater proportion of men were more mobile than women, for 6.6
per cent of men had applied for twenty or more positions within 5
years (compared with only 2 per cent of women). Nevertheless, a
large number of men now appear to be less than completely mobile.
Current sex differences in mobility cannot explain the present
position of women relative to men in educational hierarchies, though
they may explain past patterns of promotion.
In reviewing these findings on the influence of family factors on
promotion it is obvious that more women are affected by these
responsibilities than men. In the past this issue has been shelved
by educational system authorit^?s as the individual's responsibility.
But it is not for women alone to face unpalatable choices between work
and family tasks. If society as a whole is convinced that women, who
comprise nearly 60 per cent of all teachers, have a wealth of
commitment and experience to contribute to the effective organisation
of schooling, it behoves administrators themselves to examine
critically the male advantage derived from present forms of
organisation (or lack of it as in the case, for example, of child care
provision and job sharing). Also to be examined are the assumptions
inherent in the present arrangements about men's lack of involvement
with their own families. Are such men the best administrators for
schools and schooling systems?
Finally, among the reasons given by individual men and women for
not applying for promotion were two which require much more extensive
investigation because they were so highly significant or so widely
supported. The first relates to women's perception that they larked
experience, a reason advanced for not seeking promotion by 45 per cent
of women compared with only 28 per cent of men(p<0,0001 ) . The second
concerns perceptions of discrimination on likely outcomes of promotion
applications and will be discussed in a following section.
Women^s Qualifications and Experience
In order to investigate whether it is a fact that women teachers
lack experience in relation to men, a number of findings which were
intended to explore evidence of equal competence will now be
presented. In this research, questions were asked concerning sex
differences in initial and further qualifications, in-service
involvement, early experiences of organisational/administrative tasks
as beginning teachers, familiarity with a range of leadership tasks,
as well as perceptions of support or lack of it from significant
others, including those at home and in the school system.
Women are not initially less qualified than men to enter teaching,
in fact many more women than men proportionally had three years or
more of training (73 per cent female and 64 per cent male, p<0,01).
In addition, 32 per cent of women and 33 per cent of men had degrees
or degrees with diplomas at the start of their teaching careers.
It is in improving their qualifications that men secured some
advantage. Not only had they increased their initial qualifications
more frequently (62 per cent male and 53 per cent female, p<0,01) but
also they had done so at a more advanced level. Seventeen per cent
of men gaining qualifications after entry to teaching had obtained a
second or highe»~ degree compv-^red with only 10 per cent of women and
this was a highly significant sex difference (p<0,0001).
It cannot be irguti that pieces of paper automatically improve the
quality of teaching or administrative capacity or practice but mere
possession of further qualifications indicates effort to continue
learning and to update skills, Th'.s must remain a significant factor
in any promotion sy.item based on merit. However, data from this
study show that over aalf of ail female teachers have added further
qualifications since entering the service so that many more women than
now do so could apply for promotion equally on this basis with men.
The fact that more women do not apply is an indication of their
understanding that qualifications are not the only essential
prerequisites for the upwardly mobile teacher in state education
The question of administrative studies was not asked in relation
to gaining further qualifications. But specific information was
sought about participation in and the types of inservice activities in
which teachers had been involved. Men undertook more of this re-
training (80 per cent male, 74 per cent female) and were significantly
more likely to have had two days or more of such activity in areas
related to administration (alone or in combination with other topics)
such as running a department, training for senior management or
timetabling (33 per cent male compared with 18 per cent female,
p<0,0001). Women were more involved than men in curriculum and
ERIC - 20 -^^
pastoral care activities but these differences were not as
significant. Predictably, perhaps, in view of common stereotypes, of
those taking part in inservice men were significantly more involved
with computer activities (31 per cent of men compared with only 22 per
cent of women, p<0.01).
T ABLE 2
PARTICIPATION IN INSERVICE ACTIVITIES
Type of activity2 Percentage of those doing any inservice
activity who were
as a peicentage
as a percentage
Administrat ion 17.8 33.1
Pastoral Care 35.5 30.5
Computers 22.1 30.7
Curriculum 79.3 74.4
Other (TUTA) .46 .26
Total No. of Persons 1073 744
percentage of all respondents
(by sex) who had undertaken 73.8 80.1
inservice in last 5 years
The sex differences in participation and type of inservice
activity undertaken by women and men may hypo t he t ica 1 ly be an
indication of either the cause or the result of the position in the
promotional hierarchy of each sex. Women may not be interested in
administrative inservice or they may be prevented from attending an
inservice activity of their choice more often than men since fewer of
them are in control within schools. In this study, only 7 per cent
of female respondents (3 per cen*- of males) gave 'opposition of a
superior' as their reason for being unable to undertake such activity.
Women much more often than i^en were prevented from attending by reason
of family commitments (13 per cent female and 3 per cent male,
More women indicated that they had wanted to attend some form of
inservice (33 per cent female and 23 per cent male) but had been
unable to do so for reasons such as those above as well as distance,
residential requirements, teaching commitments and lack of relief.
An overview of inservice participation as an indicator of training
or preparation for proniotion into administrative levels of the
education system reveals one further reason why women might not apply
for promotion pb often as men? they appear to undertake less training
2. 1817 respondents had undertaken two days or more of inservice
training in the last five years, however many had been involved in
more than one type of activity.
- 21 -
for administrative posts. This may be the consequence of post hoc
training - that is, the people who are trained at administration
inservice activities have already been appointed as administrators of
one kind or another. Alternatively it may be that women do not
choose to undertake such activities or that thev do not receive notice
of them or that they are not often encouraged to attend. This
research did not provide evidence which would enable a more definitive
analysis to be undertaken. However, some indication of past
departmental practices encouraging women into administration can be
gauged from the following section relating to sex differences in tasks
allocated to beginning teachers.
Teachers were asked whether in their first five years of teaching
they had ever been allocated organisational or administrative tasks of
any kind. Only 57 per cent of females replied in the affirmative
compared with 73 per cent of males (p<0.0001). Vhen the nature of
these tasks was examined, clear differences in 'apprenticeship'
experiences were revealed. It was found that these women teachers,
far more often than the men had been allocated work to do with
children or teaching and the library. This research revealed that of
all respondents 61 per cent of male teachers had experience of
organisational or administrative tasks in their first five years of
teaching compared with only 45 per cent of women teachers (p<0.0001).
It is clear that an important factor in women teachers' reluctance to
apply for promotion compared with men could be firstly, lack of early
apprenticeship to organisational or administrative tasks and secondly,
the resulting legitimation of stereolvped perceptions concerning
appropriate roles for women and men in schools. This was a process
which continued long after the first years uf teaching, as other
As every teacher is aware, there are multitudes of tasks within
schools which are shared around among staff, more or less often.
Even though many teachers have senior appointments entitling them to
perform up-front or leadership tasks, assistant level staff are asked
to carry out these duties from time to time. A selection of
experiences of this kind were listed in this study and teachers were
asked whether they had ever carried out such duties and whether the
task had been by choice or by allocation.
It is apparent from findings presented in Table 3 that women have
had fewer opportunities than men to try themselves at any of these
every day organisational activities. Those who had performed such
tasks had also been allocated these duties by others within the school
less often than men. task had been by choice or by allocation.
SCHOOL TASKS EVER PERFORMED
Have you ever taken major responsibility for any
of the following tasks in schools in which you
have taught? Where response is Yes, was this
by choice or allocation?
Orfaniutioa of Mjor sdwoi
•ctivitin facb «f sports/opM
dtjf, partntf aiglitf
Arr«o|tMat of stodtnt CMpi
Task Levtl of
LMdini/coBTtaiai coMltttt oa
Bvnnini a school assaibly
When only responses from assistant level teachers are Considered
emerges. Assistant level men were significantly
more likely to have performed all these tasks. Differences ranged
from 18 per cent fewer women who had ever organised a student camp or
travel to 4.5 per cent fewer who had ever convened a pastoral care
committee (which was the smallest sex difference among these
responses). If it is considered that some women who are at assistant
level are likely to be highly experienced while a greater proportion
of men are likely to be younger, considering men's present promotion
rates, the sex differences in experience offered tc this lowest level
but most diverse group of teachers become even more blatantly one-
Results reported here support earlier evidence that young women
teachers are not asked to perform administrative tasks as often as
young men, and that women are stereotyped as 'not administration
material'. This was a comment frequently made by both men and women
which will be discussed in a following section of this paper*
In concluding this discussion on experience therefore it must be
accepted that when 45 per cent women gave 'lack of experience' as a
reason for not applying for promotion, they may have been perfectly
coriect. When the proportion of women compared with men who have had
the opportunity to try themselves out at administrative tasks is
examined, it is clear that individual women would not often have the
experience of seeing other women do well at such tasks, nor to try
them for themselves to develop their own sense of competence by doing,
as men do* This is an aspect of the findings of this study which
clearly warrants consideration and action within departments of
education, at conferences of principals and administrative staff,
especially with regard to affirmative action programs*
Sense of Competence
For a majority of both women and men teachers, the feeling that
they could do a senior Job better than others was an important or very
important reason for applying for promotion (53 per cent female and 60
per cent male, ns)* Sex differences were significant only among
those who saw this as a very important motivation (16 per cent female
and 22 per cent male, p<0*01)*
A related finding occurred in response to an attitude question
asking whether respondents felt they were excellent, as good as the
general run, not particularly good or did not know how to rate
themselves on performance of administrative tasks in schools*
Twenty-five per cent of males rated themselves as 'excellent' compared
with 18 per cent of females (p<0*001)*
These exercises in self assessment in comparison with others
reveal commonly found sex differences in estimation (Macoby and
Jacklin, 1974)* However, in view of the evidence given above
concerning actual experiences allowed to them, women's sense of
competence must be seen as not far below that of men*
Perceptions of encouragement
Throughout their lives women do not receive the kind of social
'messages' which men do, encouraging them to aspire to the top, in
particular to managing or controlling other people, or that it is
appropriate for them to be leaders of people* Many ime^eB
relating to c^tstanding women are negative or threatening ones
(Horner, 1969; Leder, 1984).
Respondents were asked whether certain officers with whom they
would have had contact in schools had ever invited or encouraged them
- 24 -
to apply for promotion. Sex differences were highly significant.
Inspectors, superintendents or other departmental officers had
encouraged 36 pf.r cent of males to <ipply for promotion compared wifh
only 21 per cent of women (p<0.0001). Principals who must be more
personally familiar with women teachers' competence diH encourage
females rather more r^ten than their departmental suj-ariors but even
so, men got this message more frequently than women. Forty two per
cent of women reported the encouragement of their head or principal,
but so did 50 per cent of men (p<0.00i).
Equal proportions of females and males reported that their
immediate superiors at school had invited or encouraged them to apply
for promotion but men reported more often than women that their spouse
had done so, 42 per cent of males and 35 per cent of females p<0.01 .
In addition, 98 per cent of males compared with 90 per cent of females
believed they had support of males on the staff in performing school
organisational tasks. Thus the social perception that leadership cr
decision making in administration was appropriate for males was
confirmed by significant others for men teachers. The question was
not apked as to perceptions of discouragement for either sex.
Hovevf?r, it is clear from these responses that men teachers receive
personal affirmation more often than do their female counterparts to
apply for promotion in the teaching service.
It is not surprising that as reported in an earlier section men
teachers gave 'superior competence' as a reason for wanting to do a
more senior job. They are more often encouraged to believe that they
Cdn do it. In the view of this researcher, the really surprising
finding, in the light of this lower incidence of encouragement, is
that so many women, over half of all women respondents (53 per cent),
believed that they could do a senior job better than others.
Perceptions of Discriminatio n
Respoi"\ dents were asked whether they thought women were
discriminated against in promotion, either explicitly or implicitly,
in the system in which they worked and to give reasons for their
response. Fifty-four per cent of women and 24 per cent of men
replied in t. ■» affirmative, and of those who gave either response
(n=2,286), 62 per cent wrote ref*sons in support of their reply (889
females and 526 males). Inere were striking differences among states
in the proportions of women and men who did or did not believe that
women were discriminated against (see Table 4). On the other hand,
those who gave either an affirmative or a negative reply to the
question wrote open ended replies, some of considerable length, which
indicated a large area of agreement between the sexes. A single
person, the researcher, coded all responses to this question.
■■ 25 -
WOMEN ARE DISCRIMINATED AGAINST IN PROMOTION
f ■ f .
ACT fie SA
f ■ f ■ f ■
f m f m
52.8 25.5 38.1 20.0
68.4 33.3 49.9 25.2 54.7 15.3
64.0 27.4 50.8 10.3
♦7.2 74.5 61.9 80.0
31.6 66.7 50.1 74.8 15.0 85.0
36.0 72.6 49.2 89.7
528 157 21 10
38 21 371 306 75 113
175 124 59 39
Yes, women are
discriminated against in
The reason most often advanced by
this belief was
women are not perceived by men as having administrative potential (30
per cent of males) and secondly that men run the schools (29 per cent
of males). Women thought so too: 37 per cent suggested the latter
reason and 31 per cent the former and these were the first and third
most i:nportant reasons advanced by women for their belief. The
second mo.-?t often advanced reason for women (36 per cent females) and
the fourth most important for men (25 per cent males) was that malep
are prejudiced against females. Thus there appears to be a quite
surprising unanimity in the importance of these factors among female
and male teachers who perceived discrimination.
Both sexes were also in substantial agreement about the influence
of women's dual role, which confirms findings reported earlier in this
study. That women have to look after their families or husbands was
suggested in explanation by 27 per cent of women and 23 per cent of
men, indicating that the.^e duties are now seen as either handicapping
women or advantaging men in a discriminatory fashion. Combined with
the fact that woiren take a break in service which undercuts
advancement in systems where seniority is the most important factor in
promotion, family related reasons were next in importance after those
suggesting male-specific factors such as prejudice, stereotyping or
the exercise of power.
Both men and women (27 per cent males and 20 per cent females)
still saw departmental regulations as an important factor, despite
changes in most states. It was the most, or second most, important
reason advanced by South Australian and West Australian women and men
and the least important for teachers in Tasmania and the territories.
Another important group of reasons advanced by both sexes supports
a finding of this study relating to women's lack of administrative
experience. The study shows that women are not given the chance to
get experience (12 per cent females and 7 per cent males) or are not
encouraged to apply for promotion (7 per cent females and 9 per cent
males) and were less frequently advanced. But it suggests that both
sexes had noticed the common distribution of tasks within their
schools and considered it discriminatory.
Ten per cent of women and 11 per cent of men also suggested that
women are discriminated against because they lack confidence and do
- 26 -
not apply for promotion. But this tends to blame the victim rather
than to explain why the system discriminates. Such ambivalence was
more often a feature of explanations sugges^.ed by those who did not
believe there was discrimination.
No, women are not discriminated against in promotion
Over 45 per cent of men and 47 per cent of women who gave reasons
why women are not discriminated against believed that the regulations
were fair and equal. A further 27 per cent (men) and 25 per cent
(women) of these respondents asserted that there was evidence to prove
that there was no discrimination. Another common assertion (13 per
cent males and 25 per cent females) was that they personally had never
seen or were unaware of any discrimination.
Another set of explanations tended to excuse rather than explain.
Twenty per cent of women and 10 per cent of men suggested that women
were disadvantaged by their family ties or by the consequences of past
discrimination (17 per cent females and 16 per cent male).
Other suggestions were more sexist and concerned stereotyped
characteristics such as that women do not want promotion or do not try
(20 per cent females and 17 per cent males), that they are incompetent
or cannot do the job (7 per cent females and 3 per cent males) or in
the extreme, that males are biologically superior and women inferior
(2 per cent females and 6 per cent males).
A final reason, but one which was second in importance among men
responding in the negative (38 per cent males and 11 per cent femaleL)
was that it was not women but men who were discriminated against. It
was clear, from the kind of replies giving this and the last reported
suggestions, that hostility and resentment of moves to advance women
were very close to the surface for some male teachers.
This study has found evidence supporting the rationale ad\'anced by
many women that they lack the experience to seek promo ion to
administrative ranks. Tasks which are often distributed by
principals and senior staff are quite unequally allocated to men.
School affirmative action plans would clearly make a start at
improving this situation.
Although 62 per cent of women teachers have no children living in
their homes, family related factors have been found to be important
handicaps to women who would seek promotion. This is important
especially as it is now younger women in their thirties (that is, with
younger children) who comprise a great proportion of applicants for
promotion. Teacher unions for many years have argued for changes to
remove some of these barriers. A more concerted attack within
departments of education might now produce consensus and real action
towards key advances necessary to lessen the weight of such
disadvantages which are borne almost wholly by women.
- 27 -
Inhere there remain perceptions of discrimination effort is clearly
necessary to publicise and advocate more obviouslyi signs of equality
within promotion systems where Ihoy exist* The facts should be
published so that teachers know that there is mora than token
representation of women on interview panels* The appointment of
women to many more decision-making committees or posts should be
sought and examination of the implementation of promotion criteria and
procedures should be undertaken*
This study has provided substantial evidence of tha importance of
a small number of factors which are retarding women's advancement in
the promotion stakes* In line with major Australian companies and
commonwealth and state public services, departments of education must
address the problems describsd in order to find ways of increasing the
numbers of women in positions of responsibility within their ranks*
t it it H t it
Horner, M. (1969) Fail: bright women, Psychology Today. (November)*
Leder , G* (1984) What price success? The view from the media The
Exceptional Child. 13(3).
Macoby, E. and Jacklin, C. ( 1 974 ) The Psychology o^ Sex
Differences Stanford .
- 28 -
WpM?N_PR.I NCJ PA L S „.I N J^USTRiJJL I A
Thp woman who is resolvpd to Ijp respected can
make herself so, even amidst an army of soldiers,
/ n f rj).d uc t i on
In 1^83 two major studies were undertaken in relation to
Australian school principals: A Descriptive Profile of Australian
School Pr incipals and The Selection and Appointment of Austral ian
School Principals. These studies, funded as part of the
Commonwealth Schools Commission's Projects of National Significance
Program, provide important benchmark data on the personal and
professional characteristics of principals and detailed information on
the procedures adopted in principal selection. As such they provide
the starting point for this paper.
T he Woman P rincipa l
Data collected in the preparation of A Descriptive Profile of
Australian School Principals revealed the following:
Twen t y-- three per cent of Australian school principals are
Only in Catholic primary schools art- women more likely . han
men to be principals (63 per cent female). But the majority
of these women are serving as principals in their capacity as
members of religious orders. Moreover , f emale principals of
Catholic schools are more likely than their male colleagues
to be over 45 years of age ,
Relative to other groups, women are least likel^ to b?
principals of government schools. Throughout Australia,
women constitute only 15 per cent of principals in governmen*'
primary schools, 9 per cent of principals in government
secondary schools and ? per cent of principals in government
schools combining both primary and secondary levels.
In Independent schools women constitute 2^ per cent of
principals in priT.dry schools, 20 per cent of principals in
secondary schools and 35 per cent of principals in schools
combining both primary and secondary levels.
The subsequent three sections present a more detailed profile of
the woman principal in the three major sectors of school organisation
in Australia: government, Catholic and independent.
Profile of the Female Principal of a Government School
The female principal of an Australian government school is likely
to be in her mid forties, Australian born (89 per cent) and raised in
a capital city, 32 per cent (other city 10 per cent, town 28 per cent
or rural community 31 per cent). Her mother, after having completed,
on average, nine years of formal education is likely to have been
employed exclusively in home duties (71 per cent)* Her father, after
ten years of formal education, would have been employed in one of a
range of occupations, most commonly, farming (20 per cerft), profession
(14 per cent), manager (9 per cent), draftsman/foreman (14 per cent),
clerical worker (10 per cent), self employed (10 per cent)* More
often than not, the principal will be married (59 per cent) to a man
employed most commonly in the professions (for example, teaching 36
per cent, architecture and law 12 per cent) or in farming (11 per
cent ) * They will have on average, two children, who will have
completed school and be undertaking tertiary study or be in full-time
Her secondary education would have been completed at a government
school (71 per cent) or in some instances a Catholic school (19 per
cent) and her initial tertiary qualification received from a
government teachers' college (76 per cent), a university (11 per
cent), or college of advanced education (12 per cent)* Her initial
tertiary qualification i*' likely to have been a certificate (64 per
cent), diploma (19 per cent) or bachelors degree (15 per cent)* If
not specialising in general primary curriculum she would have most
commonly specialised in early childhood education (19 per cent or
arts/social sciencc/languages/humanities (12 per cent)* These
studies would have been undertaken fulltime, on campus, with financial
support (88 per cent) in the form of a government scholarship or
allowance (100 per cent)* The courses taken would have been directly
relevant to a career in education (95 per cent) and contpleted prior to
the commencement of her teaching career (81 per cent)*
The principal wou''d have continued formal study after having
completed her initial tertiary qualification and after having
commenced teaching* Studies for her highest tertiary qualification,
leading to the conferring of a degree (bachelors 37 per cent; masters
8 per cent) or a diploma (20 per c&nt) or certificate (20 per cent)
would generally have been undertaken in a university (38 per cent),
college of advanced education (28 per cent) or government teachers'
college (24 per cent) in the fields of education (69 per cent) or in
the disciplines - most commonly arts/social science/languages/
humanities (14 per cent)* The<3e studies would have been undertaken
on (47 per cent) or off (43 per cent) campus, without financial
assistance (64 per cent) or time release (80 per cent)* The studies
would have been directly relevant to her career in education (88 per
cent). Prior to the completion of this qualification the principal
is likely to have spent nine years or more in teaching/education.
The principal is unlikely to be currently undertaking further
tertiary study. Those among her peers who are studying (18 per
cent), however, are most likely to be reading for a bachelors (48 per
cent, or masters (22 per cent) degree*
- 30 -
In total the principal will on average hold two tertiary
qualifications and have spent three years in full-time and four to
five years in part-time study qince leaving secondary school.
Prior to her first appointment as principal the female principal
of a government school is likely to have been employed in four to five
schools teaching general primary curriculum, english, mathematics,
science or social science. In most instances, she will not have had
experience as an acting or relieving principal prior to the
appointment. Neither is she likely to have undertaken specific study
in administration (approximately 70 per cent), either before or after
having assumed the principal position. She is likely to have served
as principal in only one or two schools.
Her current school is likely to be located in a capital city (36
per cent), (other city 11 per cent, town 14 per cent or rural
community 39 per cent) and will be concerned with primary level only
(81 per cent), secondary level otily (9 per cent) or both primary and
secondary levels (3 per cent). The pupil composition will almost
certainly be co-educational (96 per cent).
The principal will spend 46 ti 50 hours per week in the
performance of her duties as prir xpal. In most instances, she will
also be involved in nine or more hours of timetabled teaching per \-epk
(66 per cent).
She will belong on average to three professional groups and
subscribe to three professional journals. During the period 1980 to
1982 she is likely to have attended six or more local /regi onal
conferences. In addition she may have attended two state
She is not likely to have been employed in a different school or
school system (77 per cent) or have been employed in a field other
than education (77 per cent).
Profi l e of the Fema le Pri ncipal f a Catholic School
The female principal of a Catholic school is likely to be 40 to 44
years of age, Australian born (86 per cent) and raised in a capital
city 42 per cent (town 23 per cent or rural 28 per cent community).
Her mother , after having completed on average nine years of formal
education would probably have been employed exclusively in home duties
(77 per cent). Her father, also after nine years of formal
educ.tion, would have been employed in one of a range of occupations,
most commonly farmer (18 per cent), clerical worker (11 per cent),
craftsman/foreman (9 per cent), labourer (7 per cent). The principal
will rarely be married. The few among her peers who are married (14
per cent) will have husbands employed most often as craftsman/foreman
(22 per cent), managers (17 per cent) or professionals, for example
teachers (17 per cent). These principals will have on average three
children who in most instances will be currently in secondary school,
tertiary education or full-time employment. Without exception the
female principal of a Catholic school v:ill be a regular churchgoer.
In fact it is most likely that she will be a member of a religious
order ( 78 per cent ) .
Her secondary education would have been completed in a Catholic
single sex (82 per cent) or co-educational (14 per cent) school and
her initial tertiary qualification received either from a non-
government teachers^ college (47 per cent), a government teachers'
college (21 per cent) or university (12 per cent). Her initial
tertiary qualification is likely to have been a certificate (45 per
cent), diploma (36 per cent) or bachelors degree (16 per cent),
specialising in general primary curriculum or if in the disciplines,
most commonly in arts/social science/language/humanities (14 per
cent). These studies would have been undertaken fulltime and on
campus. During these studies she usually would not have received
financial support (58 per cent). The courses taken would have been
directly relevant to her career in education (97 per cent). While
she is likely to have completed the qualification prior to commencing
her teaching career (66 per cent), among her peers there will be a
considerable number (34 per cent) who would have spent on ave.*age four
years in teaching/education prior to their initial qualification being
The principal would have continued formal studying after
completing her initial tertiary qualification and after beginning
teaching. Studies for her highest post-initial tertiary
qualification, leading tc the conferring of a bachelors (32 per cent)
or masters (11 per cent) degree or a diploma (32 per cent) would have
been undertaken at a university (43 per cent), a non-government
teachers' college (21 per cent) or a college of advanced education (15
per cent/. These studies wcnld have been in the fields of education
(49 per cent), or arts/social science/languages/humanities (16 per
cent) or theology (11 per cent). In general the principal would have
undertaken these studies on a part-time basis without financial
support (77 per cent) or time release (68 per cent). Almost
certainly the studies would have been relevant to her career in
education (98 per cent). Prior to the completion of this
qualification she is likely to have spent more than nine years in
Although the female principal of a Catholic school is not likely
to be currently undertaking further tertiary study, a considerable
number of her peers (33 per cent) will still be doing so. Such women
will generally be studying for a bachelors (34 per cent), masters (13
per cent) or doctoral (3 per cent) degree or a diploma (24 per cent).
In total the principal on average will hold three tertiary
qualifications :nd have spent three years in full-time and five to six
years in part-time study since leaving secondary school.
Prior tc her first appointment as a school principal the female
principal of a Catholic school is likely to have been employed in four
schools teaching general primary curriculum, theology, english,
science, cJassical studies or mathematics. Prior to the appointment
she will not have had experience as an acting or relieving principal
(73 per cent) nor is she likely to have undertaken specific study in
administration (76 per cent). After having assumed the principal
position, however, such studies may have been undertaken (54 per
cent). In most instances she is likely to have been a principal in
two schools, with her first school differing only slightly from her
present position in terms of size and location.
' 32 -
Her current school is likely to be located in a capital city (48
per cent), city (14 per cent), town (25 per cent) or rural community
(12 per cent) and will be concerned with primary level only (78 per
cent), secondary level only (17 per cent) or both primary and
secondary levels (3 per cent). The student composition will be co-
educational (80 per cent) or girls only (14 per cent). It is highly
unlikely that boarding facilities will be available (95 per cent).
On average the principal will spend 46 to 50 hours in the
performance of her duties as principal. She will also be involved in
timetabled teaching (70 per cent) of eight hours or more per week.
She will belong to two to three professional associations and
subscribe to three to four professional journals. During the period
1980 to 1982 she is likely to have attended six or more local/regional
conferences/seminars/inservice activities. She may have attended two
state conferences but it is extremely unlikely that she would have
attended any such activity in the national or international arena.
The principal is not likely to have been employed in another type
of school or school system (82 per cent) or in a field other than
education (70 per cent).
Profile of the Female Principal o f an Independent Schoo l
The female principal of an independent school is likely to be 45
to 49 years of age, Australian born (73 per cent) and city bred (67
per cent). Her mother, after nine ycjars of formal education is
likely to have been employed exclusively in home duties (67 per cent)
or else been self employed (7 per cent) or employed in clerical
occupations (iO per cent) or in the professions, for example teaching
(7 per cent). Her father, after nine years of formal education,
would have been employed in one of a range of occupations, most
commonly being self employed (17 per cent) or employed as a
craftsman/foreman (17 per cent), a professional, for example architect
or lawyer (13 per cent), a manager (13 per cent) or clerical worker
(13 per cent). The principal is unlikely to be married. In most
instances she will have never married (4J per cent), although among
her peers there will be some who are separated or divorced (16 per
cent) or widowed (7 per cent^. Among her married peers (33 per
cent), the overwhelming majority (91 per cent) will be married to men
in professional (for example teachers 55 per cent; architect, lawyers
18 per cent) or managerial (]8 per cent) positions. They will have
two to three children, most of whom w:J 1 currently be undertaking
tertiary study or be in full-time employnent.
Her secondary education would have been completed at a government
(53 per cent) or independent single sex (37 per cent) school and her
initial tertiary qual i f i ?at ion received from a university (50 per
cent), government teachers' college (33 per cent) or college of
advanced education (10 per cent). Her initial tertiary quail f icat ior,
is likely to have been a bachelors degree (pass - 33 per cent, honou/ s
~ 10 per cent) or a diploma (30 per cent) or certificate (2"^ per cent)
specialising in arts/social science/language/humanities (31 per cent),
early childhood education (17 per cent), general primary curriculum
(17 per cent) or mathematics/science (10 per cent). These studies
would have been undertaken fulltime on campus with the aid of
financial assistance (80 per cent) generally in the form of a
government scholarship or allowance. The courses taken would have
been directly relevant to her career in education (83 per cent) and
completed prior to the commencement of her teaching career (80 per
The principal would have continued formal study after hr^ving
completed her initial tertiary qualification and after having
commenced teaching. Studies for her highest tertiary qualification,
leading to the conferring of a bachelors (30 per cent), masters (17
per cent) or doctoral (4 per cent) degree, diploma (26 per cent) or
graduate diploma (13 per cent) would have been undertaken at a
university (48 per cent) or college of advanced education (30 per
cent) in eaucation (60 per cent) or if in the disciplines, most often
in arts/social science/languageg/humanities (17 per cent). These
studies would have been undertaken on campus (78 per cent), without
financial assistance (76 per cent) or time release (83 per cent).
The studies would have been directly relevant to her career in
education (91 per cent). Prior to the completion of this
qualification she is likely to have spent nine years or more in
It is unlikely that the principal is currently undertaking formal
study, however her peers who may be doing so (21 per cent) would be
studying for a bachelors (67 per cent) or doctoral (33 per cent)
In total the principal, on average, will hold three tertiary
qualifications and have spent three to four years in full-time and
three years in part-time study since leaving secondary school.
Prior to her firsw appointment as principal the female principal
of an independent school is likely to have been employed in four
schools teaching general primary curriculum, english, mathematics,
science, social science or classics. Rarely will she have had
experience as an acting or relieving principal prior to the
appointment (67 per cent). Neither is she likely to have undertaken
specific study in administration (approximately 80 per cent) either
bef')re or after having assumed the principal position. In most
instances she will have been a principal in only one school (86 per
Her current school is likely to be located in a capital (50 per
cent) or other city (23 per cent) and will be concerned with both
primary and secondary levels (52 per cent), primary only (24 per cent)
or secondary only (93 per cent).
The principal will spend on average 46 to 50 hours per week in the
performance of her duties. In addition she will spend five hours or
more of timetabled teaching each week.
- 34 -
She will belo:ig to three professional associations and subscribe
to three professional Journals* During the period 1980 to 1982 she
is likely to have attended three local or regional conferences/
seminars/inservice activities and two state conferences. In a few
instances she would have attended a national conference. However it
is extremely unlikely that she would have attended an international
In most instances the principal would not have been employed in a
field other than education (75 pf r cent). However she may (^4 per
cent) have been employed in a different type of school or school
The _Fut ure for Women in the P r inci palshi^
The existing data on the proportion of women in the principalship
is alarming. More disturbing however, may be the statistics of the
future. In Catholic schools for example, with the retirement and
withdrawal of female religious, young men are increasingly being
appointed to principal positions. In independent schools with the
amalgamation of boys and girls schools, men are being appointed almost
exclusively to head the co-educational bodies. In government
schools, with the trend towards greater community involvement in
selection, a sizeable number of women are simply not applying for
pr i nc i pa 1 poR i f i ons .
In this rpspect it is important to note the position in Victorian
government schools. There, in an attempt to resolve the considerable
tension between the centralised concern for consistency, economy and
efficiency, which has characterised the traditional selection
practices in government schools, with respect for localised,
individual autonomy in the pluralist society of Australia in the
1980s, the education department has introduced school council
involvement in the selection of principals and deputy principals. In
the first three rounds of community involvement in selection in 1984
and 1985, of the total 9^6 applicants, only 86 applicants were women
(9. 1 per cent ) .
With the increasing trend in all systems towards greater community
involvement in the selection of principals what is the situation for
women likely to be? The results of research in the selection of
school administrators in tne United States (Baltzell and Dentler
1983), the United Kingdom (Morgan, Hall and McKay 1983) and Australia
(Chapman 1985) are not encouraging.
Problems Confron t i ng Women i n S c^h o o 1 s W he r e There i s C o mmuni t y
Involvement in t he Sele ction of Principals
The nature of the selection process
In the selection process there is an element of 'intuition' or
trust in one's judgment. But trust grows from experience. There
are simply too few people on selection committees who have had
experience wi^'h women in top administrative positions. At that
critical point when selectors mcke their final judgment, 'intuitively'
they are less likely to select the woman.
- 35 -
Given this, it is essential that the selection process be
carefully planned, tightly structured and based on clearly articulated
criteria and valid and reliable evidence. Everything must be done to
reduce reliance on 'intuition' and 'gut reaction'.
Indeed, in the United States it has been found (Baltzell and
Dentler 1983) that committees which do not have explicit, clearly
articulated, perf ormance-related criteria rely not only on 'intuition'
but upon 'leadership images'. Unfortunately, members of the
community do not have as many 'models' or 'images' of successful women
With few 'images' of successful women, members of the selection
committeeti tend to lack flexibility when assessing female applicants.
Unless a woman fits a particular mould, she has few chances. There
is little scope for 'difference'. A woman applying to an independent
school in Australia for example was commended as having initiative,
enterprise, and forward vision. It was said that she was 'unique'
but as there was some doubt about the likelihood of her surviving the
'confines' of the school it was suggested that her appointment would
be too great a 'risk'.
Yet while it is clearly unwise to be perceived as too
unconventional, women principals cannot afford to be seen as too
'desirable'. In conservative communities in particular, women
aspirants to the pr incipalship face the barriers associated with
sexual jealousy, and common gossip. In one Victorian country town, a
woman applicant was told informally that as a single, attractive woman
in her early 40s she would not be successful gaining appointment as
principal in the local government school, not merely because of male
attitudes (all members of the committee were male) but because women
in the locality were 'suspicious' of her.
The chairn»an of the board of an independent girls' school
confirmed the 'sexual factor' as a problem. As a prominent citizen
and solicitor he indicated that he could not afford the gossip which
may occur if a woman was appointed head. He liked to interact with
the principal in informal settings and with a male principal he 'could
talk about school council business...over a glass of ale wi thout
engendering gossip or innuendo'.
It is apparent throughout Australia, that men constitute the
majority of councillors in government and non-government schools and
they do feel that the real business of running a school can only be
done between men. A woman applying for the principal position in a
government school was told: 'Men simply cannot get down to Ihe nitty
gritty of runni*^g a school with a woman'.
Attitudes of women
In speaking to women throughout Australia there is no doubt that
many women underestimate their worth and their suitability for senior
administrative positions. Women speak of not applying for positions
because t-hey do not believe they 'deserve' them. Emphasis is placed
on the irrportance of 'credibility'. In many respects these attitudes
reflect a sense of powerleesness and 'distance' from the real sources
of power. Clearly women have high expectations of senior positions
- 36 -
and of themselves in those positions Perhaps more time working
spnior administrators as interns or in acting positions would give
women a more realistic picture of the deinands of a role and of the
'rr.atcn' between their own compf?tencies and those required by the role
less harsh in judging their own suitability and worth.
7he changing nature of the principalship
In government schools, especially in Victoria, increased
decentralisation and devolution has brought a new conception of the
principalship and new bases for the principal's power. No longer can
the principal rely on the legal authority associated with a
bureaucratic position within the- department. While this change In
the power base affects both male and female principals some womer feel
that they have suffered most from the change.
Such women feel particularly disadvantaged in respect to building
'informal' power bases in the wider educational community. One very
experienced and successful principal in a Victorian government school
indicated that she would not apply for another school under the new
arrangements (although she may have done so in the past) because she
simply did not have that extra energy required to establish herself,
not only with staff and students, but with the community as well: 'I
just do not want to have to kesp putting out so much ener v'.
There is no doubt that it is more difficult for women to establish
themselves in the community. Women have traditionally not been
active in those ar^as of public or community life from whi'^h many of
the schools' influentials are drawn, for example, Rotary, Apex
sporting clubs. It is particularly difficult for those married women
who, even in the society of the i980s, simply do not have tho
additional time for pub 1 i c /c ommun i t y activities, given their
r esponsibi 1 ities in the home .
Recommend a t_i ons for I mp ro vi ng the Se Ijsc ti on Proces s to Enhanc e the
Oppo rtuniti e s fo r Women
Research on school administrator selection in the United States
(Baltzell and Dentler 1983), the United ^'.ingdom (Morgan, Hall and
McKay 1983) and Australia (Chapman 198*^, ]985) r'^veals that to achieve
equity, the entire selection process must be continually nionitored to
ensur' that none of the procedures adopted are potentially
discrimin?tory. In particular, the f allowing strategies should be
implement c?d .
Announcing the vacancii and informing potential applicants
Every attempt should be made to ensure that there is a sizeable
proportion of women in the applicant pool. However, women do not
have access to the informal channels of communication which are widely
available to men. Women do not get ho know informally the 'unspoken'
needs of the school. It is the responsibility o^ all women who are
now beginnir._, to assume more senior 'Positions, to \ ^ the formal and
informal channels that do exist to inform women of vacancies and to
encourage them to apply. Informal or 'insider' knowledge will be of
particular assistance to female applicants in the preparation of
As a result women may be less overawed by positions and
- 37 -
applications which highlight the 'match' between their experience,
personal qualities, knowledge and professional 'skills', and the
specific ^requirements of the school* Experience in the United States
(Baltzell and Dentler 1983) reveals that women will create and
communicate through networks of their own devising if there is an
understanding that schools or school districts are seriously
determined to act affirmatively.
Ensuring representation of women among membership of the selection
Much has been written about the importance of having women among
the panel of selectors. This may be difficult to monitor at the
local level where members of the select^.on committees are elected or
nominated by their constituents especially as most school communities
see fit to elect a majority of men to their school councils. But in
systemic schools achieving some balance in gender representation
should be made a responsibility of the system. As "ell ae
contributing to effective selection practices in Victoria, tho^e wooien
who have served as the director -general ' s nominens on selection
committees have found the experience extremely beneficial in
familiarising theni with thfe process of selection which in turn has
assisted them whon they have been applicants in the selection process,
Vie first meetMg of the selection committeo
Before actually embarking cn the process of screening applicants,
it is imperative that a committee raise and discuss any issues about
which members may hold particular biases and prejudices. Thit is
especially important in rospect to the attitudes of committee member*^
towards ?-'omen. Those responsible for maintaining the integrity of
the sele.tion process and ensuring the equal treatment of all
candidates chould see this as o fundamental part of their role*
Sorue questions which may lay the basis for discujsion at the fi ac
meo xng would include:
Do selectors have any objections to appointing a woman?
Do selectors believe that appointing a woman would be a
greater risk whan appointing a man?
Do selectors hold any particular views about women's ability
to discipline boys, to stand up to pressure, to work
effectively with others?
Such issues, faced openly and directly at the beginning of the
process, should in part reduce the possibility of the subtle, negative
biases penetrating the committee's deliberation at later stages.
Identification o£ criteria
Selection criteria must be reviewed to ensure that there are no
barriers to discriminate againsl women. A school which has conducted
a thorough needs assessment leading to a detailed school profile and
position analysis is less likely to derive criteria which are vague,
inconsistent, unrelated to performance, or heavily dependent on
- 38 -
'leadership images'. Thorough preparation and planning by the
school's governing body is thus an essential pre~requisi te for fair
and equitable selection*
Conaideration of evidence
The chairperson of the selection commi ttee must constantly
challenge selectors to ensure that they are not making different
Inferences about the information r<»ceived from women as compared with
that received from men* In particular, are the same assumptions
being made for both sexes in respect to personal and professional
priorities, dotnestic responsibilities, ability to supervise and
maintain discipline, and ability to administer a co-educational
Conducting the interview
At the interview stage selectors must be confronted with the fact
that Lhey are likely to have more 'models' of men as heads and many
more * i mages ' of successful male principals than they will have
Mmages' of successful females. Thorough consideration of each
female applicant and stress upon flexibility in the assessment of
women mut be built into the process.
Similarly, the chairperson must alert selectors to the differences
in personal st.le among mnu und women. The less assertive style of
women and the tendency to attribute success to the product of
circumstances or the contributions of others must not be
mi sinterprc led .
Needl'.^QS to say members of the selection committee should be
cautious :* the questions t) ey ask. For example, if information about
availability is rc»quired, all applicants, both male and female, should
Will you be able to fulfill the time requirements of the
posi t i on?
Will you be able to regularly work at night or weekends?
At the final coint of deci<?ion making
A selection committee will feel most confident that its final
decision is free of bias and prejudice, if, on reflection it is
convinced that the entire process has been closely monitored and that
in its deliberation it has had availaole to it the best possible,
performance-related evidence on each applicant*
In the following section those characteristics which seem to best
typify 'good' selection practices are outlined in some detail.
Characte ristics of Effective Sel ection
Recent research on administrator selection in Australia (Chapman
1984, 1985), Canada (Musella 1983), Great Britain (Morgan. Hail and
Mackay 1983) and the United States of America (Batzell and Dentler,
1963) hat? indicated that there are certain characteristics associated
- 39 -
with effective selection procedures and practices. Th3se
characteristics and concerns, distilled from research and li.?ted
below, serve as a useful guide ro those responsible for planning and
monitoring the selection process*
there is efficiency in the use of time and in the use of
financial and human resources,
there is adequate preparation at all stages of the process,
there is clarity about proper procedures and respective
there is scrupulous adherence to all procedures,
there /ire checks and balances built into the entire process,
there are rigorous standards applied to the consideration of
applicants and the assessment of the process,
all applicants ar^ assessed on the same criteria, using the
The selection committee
the committee represents broad interest groups,
the selectors have the skills necessary to produce a valid
and reliable result,
the selectors are familiar with current changes in education
and society and are attuned to the future needs of children,
the selectors are fully informed on the external factors
that impinge upon the selection proce^is, for example, legal
and policy constraints and government guidelines,
selectors are thoroughly briefed end 'inserviced' before
embarking on the process,
selectors have a clear understanding of tneir roles, their
respective responsibilities and the constraints under which
they operate prior to the process of selection.
the criteria are approved by the school governing body,
a complete set of criteria is developed encompassing all the
duties and skills required,
the criteria ai e directly linked to the specific position
under cons i deration ,
the criteria are well formulated and clearly articulated,
- 40 -
a decision is made, in advance of screening, of tne type of
evidence to be considered appropriate in appraising
appl'cants on the baais of the criteria,
the criteria are made public so that applicants fully
understand what is expected of them when preparing theii
appl icat ions ,
The natvre of evidence
every effort is made to ensure that I he evidence i ^
comprehensive and directly relevant tr the criteria,
evidence is performance based and reflects practicf- over
at each stage in the process, all evidence and supporting or
rejecting judgments are recorded in writing and used to build
up a composite profile of tne applicant,
selectors continually monitor evidence and discuss the typ'^s
of inferences they are di awing from th*? information leceived.
application forms are structured to enable systpmatic
assessments and comparisons,
application forms are explicit about the information
ap;licatinn forms enable assessments to be made of
applicants' *trark record' and career d^ivelopment .
reference request forms a»'e explicit about the information
the interviews are structured,
prior to each interview the selectors have in tiheir
possession a profile of the applicant based on evidence
accumulated to date,
prior to interviews the selectors have a clear understanding
of the procedures to be foilowea, the questions to be asked,
the means by which interview data is to be recorded and the
manner in which interviews ^re to be assessed.
Avrivim at a final decision
a final point of decision making i'A not rushed,
in arriving at a decision there is a svetematic evaluation
of each short-listed applicant based on a thorough review of
all the evidence accumulated throughout the selection
final evaluations are based on comparisons of applicants
against the criteria.
Recommendations for Women Aspiring to Principal Positions
Long terra preparation
Throughout your career be courageous enough to ask
colleagues for feedback on your performance. Learn how
others see you. Learn how you ''present' yourself.
Gain experience in public situations where you must 'think
on your feet' and clearly articulate your opinions and
feelings. Force yourself to talk up in public forums, to
chair meetings and to take ascemblies.
Establish a trusting relationship with a personCs) with whom
you can reflect on experiences and who can give a wider,
informed perspective. This person should provide you with a
sounding board. He/she should give you constructive help
and confidence in your professional life.
Establish a name in your community. Realise it is no longer
sufficient to 'do an honest day's work within the school'.
Be visible In all aspects of the life of the school
Learn not to be afraid of rejection. Realise that yoa will
not please everyone. Have the confidence to fall. Be
prepared to >ut yourself on the line'.
Realistically assess your value. Recognise that you
deserve the job as much as any one else of comparable
experience and qualification.
Come to know yourself and recognise your strengths and
weaknesses. If you have weaKnesses confront them and learn
to handle them constructively.
Carefully look at your career path. Ide-itify a goal which
you would like to attain, a dream you would wish to fulfill.
Lecrn how others have attained that goal and identify the
paths which can be followed to its attainment.
Do not be embarrassed about recognising and admitting to
your strengths. Let people know you are an 'able' person.
Build it into their set of expectations about you. Build up
their confidence in you.
Do not 8h> away from addressing difficult issues.
- 42 -
Develop opinions, positions and moat importantly, develop a
personal philosophy, your vision for education.
Become the initiator rather than the support person.
Short Term Preparation
Carefully prepare a written application.
Read the school profile and the job advertisement.
Contact and if possible visit the school and obtain as much
additional information about the school, the position and the
community as is possible.
Speak informally with those who may be familiar with various
aspects of the school and its community.
In your letter of application:
state your case in clear, succinct language that will be
readily understood by the professional educators and the lay
specifically address your application to the neeu^ the
school and the major areas of responsibility as detailed in
the school profile and the job description;
state clearly the fundamental tenets of your educational
phi losophy ;
ensure that within your application letter you effectively
display the ^vision' you have for the school;
refer to actual behaviours/accompl ishments which provide
evidence that you do indeed K->ssess the relevant skills and
provide substantiating evidence for your claims. In most
instances this evidence can be included as appendices to your
Selecting confidential referees:
Contained within your letter of application, either as an appended
list or within the body of the letter itself, will be the details
of your 'confidential' referees. Your choice of confidential
referees will be a major factor in determining the success or
failure of your application. Choose them with care.
Ensure that your confidential referees are men or women who
will be respected and considered credible by the members cf
the selection committee.
Select referees who will be considered by members of the
selection committee to be 'honest and frank'.
Select referees who will be enthusiastic in their support
for your application* This can be guaranteed to a greater
extent if you provide prospective referees with substantial
information about the school and the position*
Stress to your confidential referees the necessity for them
to address their comments to the specific requirements of the
school ana the position and to any specific issues raised by
the selection committee* They should validate your claims
of experience and expertise*
Prior to Interview:
Identify potential problem areas; the areas where selectors may
hold potentially discriminatory attitudes towards women. Be well
prepared to answer questions on discipline, your ability to take
pressure, the breadth of your experience, your involvement in the
wider commu,iity, your preparedness to devote time and energy to
the school, your personal and professional priorities, your
ability to relate to others, especially to the men who are likely
to constitute a sizeable proportion of your staff and your
At the Interview. Ask for feedback from the committee:
What attracted this committee to my application? Would the
committee have any misgivings about appointing me? Show that
this is important and that you are very serious ;ibout being
Present yourself with conviction.
Avoid those aspects of 'fem;=ile' language patterns whirh
reflect uncertainty. Say things in a positive way, instead
of 'I would hope to,..' say 'I would do..,'
Learn to turn everything to your advantage. If the
interviewer detects a weakness in your application or
preparation do not buckle under. Lead the discussion along
bo a Dositive resolution.
Display your ^vision' for education anr for the future of
Take charge of yourself and the interview. Show you are
^master of your world'.
Baltzell, Catherine and Dentler, Robert A, (1983) Selecting
American School Principals^ Research Report. National Institute
of Education. Washington D.C.
Chapman, Judith D. ( 1984) A Descriptive Profile of Australian
School Principals. Commonwealth Schools Commission, Canberra,
Chapman, Judith D, ( 1984) The Selection and Appointment of
Australian School Principals. Commonwealth Schools Commission,
Chapman, Judith D, ( 1985) School Council Involvement in the
Selection of Admini strators. The Institute of Educational
Admin is t rat ion, Melbourne, Victoria,
Chapman, Judith D, (1985) The Selection of School Administrators.
Procedures and Practices . The Institute of Educational
Administration, Melbourne, Victoria, 1985,
Morgan, C, Hall, Valerie and McKay, Hugh, (1983) The Selection of
Secondary School Headteachers. Open University Press, London,
LAY WOMEN AS PRINCIPALS IN CAt^HOLIC SECONDARY SCHOOLS?
Within the different Australian education systems, the
principalship is dominated by men. Studies from the United States
of America, Canada, Great Britain and New Zealand point to the
existence of the same situation in their schools.
Until recently Catholic schools in this country were not
characterised by such an imbalance. However, the decline in the
number of men and women from the teaching orders who are capable
of filling executive positions has necessitated the appointment of
lay principals. These principals are mostly men. Although this
trend conforms with the general pattern, it requires closer
scrutiny because the under-r ep r es en t a t i on of women in the
principalship is now occurring in a system where traditionally
women have held that position in approximately the same proportion
as men. Furthermore, women seeking promotion to the principalfihip
in that system are not disadvantaged to the same extent as wo»Ten
in Australian government schools by a formal promotion structure
which places emphasis on seniority and which has set criteria for
eligibility to each level or list position in the hierarchy.
Failure to cpply for promotion certainly provides a simple
explanation for the situation. A recent study in Victoria showed
that in a questionnaire involving 349 women respondents only 9 (or
2.6 per cent) had ever applied for a secondary principalship in a
Catholic school. The head personnel officer in the Sydney
Archdiocese likewise indicated the general failure of women to
apply for either the deputy principal or principal positions. But
this response of failure to apply only prompts further questions:
What are the factors or barriers confronting women in Catholic
secondary schools which might explain their under-representat ion
Are these factors similar to those in other systems?
Are theie factors related specifically to the Catholic system?
Although the degree of influence appears to vary, the factors
or barriers which offer an explanation for the situation are
basically the same as those which are found in other education
systems. Further, they can be categorised into three groups:
those factors which arise from indirect institutional
discrimination; those factors which are attributable to women
teachers themselves; and those factors incorporating attitudes or
beliefs, conscious or unconsc ious , leading to uni-^tentional,
Indirect Syst emic D l ccr in ina t ion
The factors which emerge in the category of indirect, systemic
discrimation are more closely related to the nature of the
Catholic education system than those factors in other areas. The
following list identifies only the most obvious ones.
Women are ineligible through lack of administrative
The continuing presence of religious in the positions of
principal and deputy principal hinders both men and women.
The tendency is for women to st<ay at the classroom level or
at least spend more time there before seeking promotion. The
expectation of this career pattern must influence those who
promote, and ultimately disadvantage all women.
Women do not seem to acquire co the same extent as men
incidental professional training that could assist them in
Factors Attributable to Women Themselves
Kany of the factors which stand in the way of women attaining
the pri ncipalship are attributable to women teachers themselves.
However, it must be appreciated that these factors are not easily
isolated and are intertwined with those in the other two
categories. The actual failure of women to apply for the
pr incipalship is a superficial outcome of the points detailed
There is evidence to suggest that women, overall, are not as
well qualified academically as men are for administrative
The aspiration or ambition to pursue an administrative career
is seemingly not a strong motivating factor for most women.
Closely allied to the relatively low career ambitions of
women is their lack of confidence in their ability to assume
successful leadership positions.
The most outstanding factor which accounts for v.omen not
seeking the principalship and which underpins the three points
already mentioned is that home commitments receive their first
priority. Moreover the importance placed upon the family unit
in the Catholic Church undoubtedly gives moral strength to
home life receiving this position. But apart from Church
teachings, there is, within Australian society, a strong
pressure upholding the notion that a female's role of wife and
mother should take precedence over any other role.
Another pressure centres on the lack of support women are
given in the home. Most females who pursue a career do so
while maintaining a family and all other home
responsibilities. Thus, many commonplace difficulties
encountered can be attributed to job overload. An
administrative position would simply add to that load.
- 47 -
The desire of women to remain in the classroom because it
gives them satisfaction is offered by some women as a reason
for their not seeking promotion. A few certainly find the
classroom level preferable to the male career pattern with its
associated pressures and it apparent unattractive awirds.
Nevertheless^ this factor must be viewed with caution as it is
frequently proffered unjustifiably as an excuse for not
providing women with opportunities? in school administration.
Social Attitudes, Beliefs and Pract ices
The third major category centres on those factors which arise
from attitudes held in society, especially those concerning the
role of women.
There is overwheli.ung evidence indicating that thcjre are
deeply entrenched attitudes in Australian society which
perceive men as leaders and women as followers. This lessens
the possibility of women, despite their competence, assuming
leadership roles. In other words, sex role stereotyping leads
individuals to hold, in varying degrees, negative attitudes
concerning the appointment of women to the principclship which
is viewed essentially as a masculine domain.
Consequently, although it is generally recognised that women
have the characteristics essential for a good principal when
compared with men, they are not seen to have these essential
characteristics to the same extent.
Most important in this category are the attitudes of those
who are in a position to employ or promote. In the Catholic
system the promoters/employers are perceived by teaching
personnel as being conservative because tney are identified
with the attitudes and practices of the Catholic Church. It
is unlikely that they will regard women as being as well
suited as men for the leadarship role of principal.
The distinguishing aspect of Catholic education, that is, its
Catholicity, also appears to contribute to the near absence of
women as principals. The Catholic Church is seen to support
and perpetuate in its own structure and practices traditional
attitudes concerning the place of women in society. The all-
male hierarchy is often pointed to as the obvious example of
the Catholic Church's endorsement of a woman's place being
that of a follower. Thus it is inconceivable that the
discriminatory attitudes towards women being perpetuated by
the Church should cease to function in the vital area of
eduration and, more precisely, in the appointment of its
principal teachers .
It is useful to refer back to the question posed in the
introduction. Firstly, it appears that the under-repr esentat io'"
of women in Catholic secondary schools is an outcome of the same
or similar factors which are functioning in other systems.
Nevertheless not all factors are of equal influence. Secondly,
the Catholic Church, by upholding traditional attitudes on the
r^ a 48 -
rolej? of women in society, must greatly influence the choice of
roles considered suitable for women to play in Catholic education.
Recommendations for Changing the Under-Representat ion of Women as
This paper maintains that women can perform competently in
educational administration. The underl,ying barrier to most women
reaching this pr i nc i pal shi p is found in societal attitudes,
beliefs and practices. Without doubt the situation will not be
rectified until some change occurs in those attitudes, beliefs and
Meanwhile, the following strategies and policies are suggested
as approaches which might contribute to hastening the change. The
majority would have to be implemented through professional
associations, sucii as teachers' unions, or through official groups
Information should be provided to the community, to the
employers and to the aspiring women administrators about the
imbalance of females in administration and the factors
accounting for this.
Those w< men who have successfully fulfilled administrative
positions should be made visible and even access*'ble so tha^
they might give encouragement and actively help other women.
Negative stereotypes of women as administrators, which
perpetuate the beliefs that women are weak, emotionally
unstable, indecisive and lack leadership skills, should be
Courses, particularly in leadership skills should be provided
for women so that they might acquire basic skills in personnel
management and organisational procedures as well as a sense of
confidence in their own abilities.
Support for individuals should be built through the
establishment of organisations concerned with women in
educational administration. Such organisations would be in a
position to communicate or negotiate with authorities or the
public, with more strength than the individual.
The alliance of anyone or any group who is concerned with
social justice should be sought. At the school level, the
experiences of women snould be broadened deliberately by
exposing them to a range of administration activities, formal
In girls' and co-educational schools at least one woman in a
senior administrative position should be appointed. This may
require positive discrimination.
Women themselves should make a positive effort to gain
experience in diverse administrative situations; to build up
networks; to pursue opportunities that will display their
talents; to upgrade their qualifications, to plan their
career; to work conscientiously, and to view themselves as
In a society where men are the dominant group, they largely
determine the criteria against which goodness and appropriateness
are judged, C'^nsequent ly women face an overwhelming task in
trying to formulate realistic strategies to eliminate
So far attempts to alter formal structures in order not to
disadvantage women have met with limited success. Indeed, it is
unlikely that the status of women will change appreciably in any
sphere of life, until many sex role stereotype attitudes are
dismantled and women are perceived as being capable of fulfilling
leadership roles. Hence, to pursue consciously strategies and
policies, like tnose put forward in this paper, is imperative if
there are "-o be more women principals in Cat ho lie secondary
This paper is based on reseach which was done for a thesis, The
Promotion of Women to the Principalship: A Case Study, submitted
to the University of New England for the degree, Master of
Educational Administration •
McArthur, J. 1984. An Analysis of Some of the Haln Findings of
a Survey of Female Lay Teachers in Catholic Secondary Schools
Anti-Discrimination Board. 1979. Examinations of a Practice in
New South Uales Secondary Teaching Service.
WOMEN. JN EDU CATIONAL MAN AGE MENT IN INDE PENDENT SCHOOLS ;
IS THE PAST STILL AHEAD OF US ?
Di F cminq
I nt rodu ct ion
Though it might be fashionable in some quarters to perceive
independent schools as a monolith, such a perception would be spurious
in the extreme. There is little commonality in philosophy, aims,
goals and objectives. But there is one common denominator to these
schools. They serve a community where clients, that ^ the parents,
are able to make a choice between educational institu.ions for their
chi Idren .
ThePogit t on for Women
Appointment of staff within independent schools is an individual
matt:?r without the constraints of either seniority or industrial
agreements? which are reflected in the government system. In general
all independent schools have application Processes, methods of
selection, criteria for selection, ratification/approval, rights of
appeal and conditions of appointment. What ia common to non-
government schools is that they have built-in structural and
attitudinal characteristics which mitigate against the appointment of
women in positions of management.
There is no point in presenting the current statistics on the
number of women in management in independent schools in this country;
the picture is similar to that of the government system. Elementary
school teaching is still very much gendered labour. When one takes a
horizontal perspective, sisterhood is alive and well. When one
transcends classroom management, the vertical distribution of gender
ratios reinforces the reasons as to why this conference has been
convened. The majority of primary school teachers are female whilst
the majority of administrators are male.
There are two major concerns confronting us: firstly the lack of
women in management /deciF.iOi.-making positions and the gendered labour
scene which continues '.o reinforce the social, stereotypical influence
and attitudes in the young people in this society. It is damaging for
children to see only males in power positions, especially in primary
and junior schools.
How to precisely quantity the extent of these problems within the
independent sector presents some difficulty. Within independent
schools in Victoria, there is no documentation which is equivalent to
Schwarz's study. Women in the Education Department in Victoria. The
information found on people in power is mainly descriptive and to
generalize from such would be seen by many independent schools as
either offensive or erroneous when applied to their mode of operation.
Whether such a reaction is justifiable is a difficult judgment. What
can be said is tnat the lack of quantifiable information about
management positions in such schools is probably symptomatic of the
notion of independence. It is not unfair to suggest that independent
schools may well enjoy a real sense of 'exclusiveness' *^!.»ough this
degree of anonymity, A3 s general rule the education community, let
alone the general community, knows what independent schools want it to
know. Despite being accountable financially to the state for use of
public funds and to their own communities for private input, the
policies and practices of such schools remain the property of the
internal groups which dominate their ins t i t t i onal i sed political
processes. Poiicieo and practices relating tc women in management
positions are no exception. Both proponents and opponents of
independent gchools might well see this as the actual demonstration of
what has been determined the independent ethos'.
In the May 1985 edition of Independence, the journal of the
Headmasters' Conference of Australia, Robert Nethercote provided an
analysis of deputy principal positions in independent schools.
Nethercote described the lack of research, providing a comparative
general analysis of the 'Role of Deputy Principals n Independent
Schools in Victoria'. Mr. Max Howell, Headmaster of Brisbane Grammar
School presented four stereotypes by which the role can be
the old man of the tribe
the hatchet maii
the general dogsbody
I am unsure if t .e fourth stereotype is in tuct the onJy
androgynous category or if there could possii^ly be a misprint which
should read General Dogsbody,
Questionnaires were sent to all He.'idmas t er s ' Conference (HMC)
schools and ^he Association of H'jads in Independent Girls' Schools
(AHIGS) in Victoria - the titles of the two organisations further
enlightening us as to the reasons why the above stereotypic categories
are alive and well. The good news is that at the end of 1985 in all
its End of the Decade for Women significance, both bodips will
combine. The interest ^'ng question for women in management will be,
'Through coalescence, will the new chairper on be male or female?' If
the past is to be our future, and if history repeats itself, the
appointment is sure to be a male. A r ecommenda t i -^n from this
conference might be to the chairpersons of KMl and AHIGS that they
negotiate and make suitable constitutional amendments to enable an
alternate sharing of this position between men and women.
Nethercote's study of deputy principals quantifies present
understanding of the situation (Table .
A further recommendation from this conference r.ight be that either
organisation such as NCIS or an individual undertake a major study of
management within independent schools, which would clearly identify
the problems of discrimination and add strength to an argument which
is currently very difficult to quantify.
HIGHEST ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS OF DEPUTY PRINCIPALS (AND OTHERS)
(n = 46)
Highest Academic Male Female Total(f) Cumulative
Qual i f i cat ions Total ( Cf )
Mast r De'j'ree
In addressing attitudinal and structural barriers to greater
participation by women in educational management, it must be said that
many independent schools are responsible for the perpetuation of
sexist socialisation and consequent discrimination. Now, more than
ever before, society should be interpreting the world through an
androgenous paradigm, yet many independent schools are social
constructs which deliberately reject such an interpretation. Single
sex schools can hardly be classified as societal microcosms, given
their si^xually exclusive curriculum and practices. There can be no
denying that a great numoer of students from these schools transmit
the effects of their socialisation to th^ workplace and their
pervading sphere of influence.
De spite the findings and r e commend a t ions of the Commonweal t h
Schools Commission report. Girls and TomorroWt it may well be that
single sex girls' schools are necessary for a period of time in
providing environments for girls when their self esteem and self
concept is at its lowest ebb. Although it may be advisable to stream
classes on a gender basis this is not an argument for single sex
schools from K ~ 12. The real world comprises of males and females;
the existence of siigle sex schools whether for males or females is a
parody of that reality.
A Case Study
One of the objectives of the conference is to share knowledge
abcu*- the extent of the participation of women in educational
management and the policies, programs and processes bein£ developed by
- 53 -
practitioners in the systems and schools. Wesley College Melbourne
may be an appropriate case study. It is now 118 years old and the
last decade may well be seen as a move by the College towards
accepting the notion of Paula Silver which states 'I believe that
educators have a moral obligation to use knowledge to change their own
"natural" tendencies in the interests of enhancing social equality'.
Wesley College Council and the Principal, Mr. David Prest, made a
decision to change from a single sex boys college to a co~educat ionai
college. This decision had diverse ramifications for the total
College community: philosophical, administrative, curricular and
envi ronment al .
What effect has this decision had on women in management? There
is not time to document in detail the degree of change over the last
ten years; however, the present situ^titn demonstrates the welding of
idealism -ind pragmatism.
There are tijl^t'een key administrative positions encompassing both
campuses, Prahran and Glen Waverley, for 1986 as set out in Table 2.
ADMINISTRATIVE POSITIONS AT WKSLEY COLLEGE MELBOURNE
Wesley College, Melbourne
Glen Way erley
Deputy Head (M)
Deputy Head (F)
Director of curriculum (M) and Director of outdoor education (M;
(responsibility across the College)
Out of the thirteen senior positions, five are held by women, the
middle f.chool co-ordinator at ^rahran will be a caretaker position
held by a male while thn apoointed woman undertakes postgraduate
studies in the United States of America in 1986 - the welding of
idealism and pragmatism needs to be amply resourced. Commitment to
equal opportunity has been reflected in the organisation framework and
the encouragement of women to apply for all senior management
- 54 -
In many ways, Wesley College is atypical* Most other co-
educational independent schools have not addressed the key issue of
affirmative action* Appointment of staff is critical. Without a
gender balance across each class level and within the administrative
structure the questions of sexually inclusive curricula and school
practice cannot be adequately addressed* A school which pays lip
service to co-education through a sexually exclusive administration
and practice loses credibility with students, especially girls, and
with its parent clients. Is equal opportunity within a school
attainable when girls and boys see an administrative model which is
mainly male? Where are the mentors for your women aspiring to
management positions and where are the Professional role models for
all students, male and female?
Wesley College has gradually redressed the historical dominance
through affirmative action but the appointment of staff is only the
first step. Equal opportunity and the implementation of appropriate
practice is confronted daily. The following areas give a few basic
examples of critical practice.
School as3ewb] ies
Administrative line-up of male and female role models.
Visiting speakers representing men and women active in non-
traditional work roles.
Equal recognition of sporting achievements by both male and
Male and female students working in partnership.
Balanced representation in student representative bodies.
Careers counsel 1 ing
No discrimination with respect to guidance and advice on
Constant evaluation of sexist material.
Wesley College is co-educational to Year 10 and while the current
senior college is all male, it is the last bastion of the school's
single sex past. At the end of 1984 an analysis was undertaken on the
basis of student performance for that year. Year 9. It was found that
tnere was no significant difference between the performance of girls
and boys in all subjects. In July 1985 the SCOPE Questionnaire was
administered to all Year 10 students and the following trends became
- 55 -
There is still a concern with traditional sex stereotypic
choices in the areas of foreign language and performing/
creative arts for girls, while males continue to demonstrate
their inclination towards mathematics, science and computer
science. The important trend is the closing gap between girls
and boys in their subject choices at Wesley College.
In the 'Profile of Interests in Each Job Area Percentage of
Each Sgx in Year 10 Students', the correlation betw3en gender
was more diverse than the profile demonstrated across Victoria.
Cone lusions and Recommendations
In conclusion, the following issues need to be analysed as
providing structural barriers for women in manager<ent in independent
School councils: the historic domination of successful males
and the consequent influence on the appointment of principals
and indirectly of staff.
The role of the church in a number of independent schools: its
traditional adherence to the dominance of males in decision-
Single sex schools: the peculiar effect of such institutions
on the process of both management and role stereotypes, which
increasingly fails to reflect the changes in gender roles over
the I'-^st two decades.
Old 3t:udent network: the tendency of such formal and informal
organisations to perpetuate the conditions applicable to their
own half remembered schooling experiences.
This paper proposes three recom ^ndations:
The Australian Council for Educational Administration with the
Australian College of Education should be approached to under-
take a thorough analysis of staffing in independent schools in
Australia. Whilst the trends might be anticipated, 'he results
would provide a substantial power base for action.
Independent schools should be urged to take cognisance of
their social responsibility as policy makers for affirmative
action. Policies affecting leadership models and attitudes
which are not cognisant of the social spectrum will never
achieve their goals, nor will the students for which
independent schools are responsible be ful'/ equipped to
participate in the twenty-first century.
Each man and woman should work within their specific sphere of
influence to maintain the issue of women in management as item
onr on their agenda. The power of implementation of recommend-
ations from this conference is with the individual. Without
individual acLion our past is certain to be our future. While
governments continue to legislate, organisations and
individuals still discriminate.
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TH^ DEVELOPMENT OF AN EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY
MMG.EME.NT._P LAN I N NE W SOUTH WALES
Equal employment opportunity programs in New South Wales
developed out of the shortcomings of the 1977 complaint-based
Anti-Discrimination Act, as well as from the recomr^endat ions of
the Rev^few of NSW Public Administration carried out by Dr Peter
In 1980 an amendment to the 1977 legislation was passed. This
was Part IXA, which established the Office of the Director of
^qual Opportunity in Public Employment in NSW rind required all
gcvernmenv departments and statutory authorities to d<*velop equal
emoloyment opportunity management plans,
NSW Management P lan
In the NSW Department of Education, the Equal Employment
Opportunity (EEO) management plan for the teaching service to k
four years to complete, drawing on considerable human resources.
The completed plan provides a profile of the organisation in terms
of the representations of the target gro :p covered under the
legislation - people from non-English speaking backgrounds,
Aboriginal people, women and people with physical impairments.
In compiling this EEO management plan four processes were
Analysis of personnel statistics whirh form the base mark
against which KEO programs can be examined on an annual
Review of personnel practices with a view to the
identification of discriminatory practices and effects.
This included a review of recruitment techniques, selection
criteria, training and staff development programs,
promotion and transfer opportunities and patterns and
conditions of service.
Collection and analysis of empirical survey data which
provides information not available from other sources,
including profiles of people of non-English speaking
backgrounds, those with physical impairments, and
subjactive data concerning "ndividual and group experiences
of working with the organisation.
Development of strategies for change addressing obstacles
which the organisation ha^ identified by a thorough
research program. These strategies are designed to expose
and overcome discrimination against women, Aboriginal
people, people from non-English speaking backgrounds and
people with physical impairm€*nts.
57 ^ r^c^
It should be noted that the management plan .s a 'living' document
designed to change over time as a result of its implementation,
evaluation and development ( f further initiatives.
Input was also gathere! from community agencies and
organisations including the Anti-Discrimination Board, the Office
of the Director for Equal Opportunity in Public Employment, the
Social Dev lopment Unit in the Office of the Minister for
Education, the Ethnic Affairs Commission, the Overseas Teachers'
Association, the NSW Aboriginal Consultative Group, the NSW
Federation of Parents and Citizens Associations, the Federation of
School Community Organisations, the Royal Blino Society of NSW,
the Adult Deaf Society, the Disability Council of NSW, the NSW
Teachers' Federation, the Institute of Inspectors of Schools and
Senior Educational Administrators of NSW, and the teachers and
other departmental officers who participated in the two EEO
In tne NSW Department of Education, the Director of EEO during
the period of the development of the management plan was the then
Deputy Director-General, Mr Bob Winder, who had a close working
relationship with the Director-General. The selection of such a
high ranking officer as the director of EEO has highlighted the
considerable importance and status that has been given to and has
been perceived to be given to the EEO program. This has been an
important feature in its success. In July 1985 Mr Winder was
appointed Director-General of Education assumin^^ major
responsibility for the implementation of the EEO management plan,
with the Director of Industrial Relations, Mr Geoff Baldwin, being
appointed as the Director of EEO.
The most significant feature of the EEO management plan is
that it is truly that - a management plan. Once the research
was completed and the issues identified, ninety-ore strategies for
change were drafted and refined by the senior management of the
department. Included in this process were the then Director-
General, Mr Doug Swan, the then Deputy Director-General, the four
Assistant Directors-General and the Directors of Education.
Consultation with Regional Directors of Education was carried out
during the three to four month period in which the strategies were
Consultation with and involvement of senior management ensured
that the direction of the EEO program was consistent with all
other educationa] programs undertakpn by the department. The
process had a further benefit in that it led to a serious
commitment from senior management to the successful implementation
of the EEO program. This commitment has been maintained through
the initial phase of the launch and distribution of the EEO
management plan. Many senior officers have been publicly involved
in supporting che EEO program as well as explaining the benefits
expected to the educational system as a whole through enhanced
management pr act ices ,
The management plan, which was officially launched by the NSW
Minister for Education, Mr Rod Cavalier, sets out positive
- 58 -
initiatives for upgrading personnel practices for women, the
largest target group affected.
Ob jectives of the Plan
The plan does not intend to positively discriminate on behalf
of women employees but to redress the imbalances of the existing
A significant effect of the plan for women teachers will be to
improve the access of women to permanent positions and to provide
better promotional opportunities. At 60 per cent of the
workforce, women are well represented in the teaching profession
b ^.t their representation in proiwotion positions is low with only
25 per cent in primary and 21 per cent in secondary schools.
The proposed affirmative action program will, over the five
years of operation, significantly improve the representation of
women in promotion positions particularly at the levels where it
is presently critically low. At th^ level of deputy principal of
a secondary school, representation of women will, on projected
estimates, be increased from 6.4 per cent in 1983 to 21.7 per-
cent. For principals of secondary schools the increase projected
is from 7.4 per cent in 1983 to 14 per cent in the fifth year of
the affirmative action program. In the primary arena where the
numbers of principals of first class schools are smaller in
number, representation would still be improved. It is projected
that the 1983 figure of 5.3 per cent would be increased by 2.6 per
cent to 7.9 per cent in five years.
The results of such a program will not only bring improvements
in the overall representation of women but having many more women
in promotion positions will provide children with more female role
models in positions of authority in government schools.
Also included within the plan is a major proposal to
restructure the promotional opportunities for all teachers. It
proposes to offer 10 per cent of vacant promotion positions to
eligible applicants by selecting the 'best' teacher for the job.
This method of appointment radically departs from the present
mechanism of seniority.
The EEC management plan is an important program for some women
who along with mature-age entrants and people employed with
overseas qualifications, have had their career opportunities
retarded by the seniority system's rules which rely upon
continuity of service. For the most part women teachers still
accept the major responsibility for child rearing. If they have
periods out of the service to raise their children they e^oerience
penalties upon re-employment, which either exclude or retard their
promotional opportunities and thus they have difficulties
competing with teachers who have continuous service.
As the proposed program intends to offer 10 per cent of vacant
promotion positions to be filled through selection, women who may
not have the seniority but who are capable, qualified and talented
teachers will have the opportunity to compete for positions
P4*eviously out of reach* In addition the plan will improve the
provisions for accreditation for child rearing to allow greater
access to benefits for women who have had broken service as a
result of their family responsibilities. It will also provide
opportunities for women at various levels to participate in
departmental commi ttees •
Female promotion prospects have been particularly affected by
post-maternity leave rules. The plan provides for greater
flexibility in this area*
The status of temporary staff, of which 80 per cent are women,
has been a major problem* To achieve permanent status teachers
need to join the state superannuation fund and be prepared to
serve anywhere in the state, factors which make it very difficult
for women to conform with the requirements for permanent status.
The proposed introduction of new categories of permanent
appointments will ensure that women have access to the
professional and monetary benefits associated with permanency.
The department's commitment to the implementation of an
effective EEO program is receiving broad acknowledgment. Many of
the proposals have been widely welcomed by parent and community
groups who see Ihem as providing positive initiatives which will
improve the quality of education in the schools for the students,
teachers and the community. Opposition to some of the proposals
from some teachers is being addressed by the department through an
education program explaining the proposals, their objectives and
benefits to teachers* This program is being undertaken by the EEO
co~ordinator and EEO liaison officers located in regions and
supported by senior officers of the department.
MAKING THE INVI SIBLE VIS IBLE IN VICTOR IA
Let us begin with an old but still relevant ri 'le. A man
and his young son were riding along on a motorbike when they were
struck by a speeding truck. The man was killed instantly and the
boy was rushed to hospital with serious injuries. The hospUal
called the top surgeon to operate immediately. On entering the
theatre the surgeon took one look at the boy and said 'We'll have
to get another surgeon to operate. I can't. That's my only son!'
Who was the surgeon?
A report Uoj^en in the Education Department published by the
Education Department of Victoria, detailed the basic data showing
the position of women in that department in 1984. The report
traces the changes in the positions of women in the teaching
service since formal equality was instituted in Victoria in 1972.
The figures show that in a system of formal equality, the
proportion of women in the senior positions in schools has
declined. The distribution of male and femal'^ teachers is no
better than in 1925 when artificial ratios wsre created to limit
the number of women in senior positions!
Recently, a number of moves have begun in further attempts tc
improve women's position in the Victorian Education Department.
Equal opporunity legislation, a public service action plan for
women: and major changes in family leave provisions and the
introduction of permanent part time work, have recently provided
further potential for the technical removal of barriers to the
promotion of vfomen in the Victorian Education Department. The
Director-General of Education, Dr. Norman Curry, has been
continually supportive in attempts to improve the position of
women in the department.
The department has an Equal Opportunity Co-ordinator , an Equal
Opportunity Unit, and Equal Opportunity Resources Centres in four
of its twelve Regions. Within the Personnel and Industrial
Relations Branch, a senior administrator has been given the
additional role of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)(Public
Service. Co-ordinator in line with the Public Service Board's
recent requirement .
The Deputv Director of Personnel has been given the additional
role of EEO (Teaching Service) Co'-ordinator . These EEO co-
ordinators work with two consultative committees consisting of
department representatives and teacher and public service union
representatives respectively. These committees have drawn up
specific action plans c.nd will monitor thr^ir implementation.
Working with them is a full-time EEO Consultant responsible
for EEO matters relating not only to the teaching st 'ice but also
to public servants employed in the education department - 25,118
men and 36,163 women as at March 1985. In July 1984, local
selection of post-primary school principals ar i deputy principals
was introduced and the option has since been extended to primary
schools. In this way, mer t as determined by a local selection
panel replaces seniority as the criterion for appointment* The
effect on women is not yet known. However, with all these formal,
visible structures in place, it would seem that, if the position
of women can be improved, Victoria has an excellent chance of
Making the In/isible Visible
However, past experience teaches ue that removing visible
barrie'^s does not always result in women occupying positions
previously unattainable or difficult for them to attain. The
invisible barriers of attitudes and social expectations must be
highlignted - made highly visible and highly unacceptable. The
major invisible barriers to women's progress lie in the often
unconscious attitudes of men to women and the attitudes of women
While the regulations and formal structures of our systems can
be and should be changed and Victoria has made considerable moves
in this direction, it is useful to examine the often subliminal
barriers to change. While a conference such as this should make
practical recommendations for systemic change, as conference
participants the underlying causes for ^omen's position can be
profitably explored in order to provide a theoretical star chart
to guide a course of action. The Pandora's Box of gender identity
and social relationships should be opened.
In focusing on the position of women, we often neglect the
concept that it is a relative one that is, relative to the
position of men, and cannot be viewed in isolation from that.
Currently, gender identity in Australian society takes the
form of polarisation of possible human potential and
characteristics. Little boys are steered towards and rewarded for
accepted ^masculine' behaviour while little girls are encouraged
to be 'feminine'. The cluster of characteristics acceptable in
boys and men include independence, stoicism, strength, action,
initiative, leadership, control, competitiveness and
aggressiveness. For girls the opposite is usually the case
though, within limits, the tomboy is acceptable. These statements
have been around for a long time and the nature/nurture argument
still rages. But one aspect that is not often highlighted is that
the attitudes of men to women are linked with their own grander
identity as masculine' beings, the apparent requirement for an
other, an opposite which is 'feminine' whose characteristics are
taboo for them. Thus, not exhibiting 'feminine' characteristics
is an integral measure of 'masculinity' perhaps even more basic
than exhibiting 'masculine' characteristics. Maintaining the
'feminine' is a necessary c^^ndition for the existence of
'masculinity'. Small boy<? learn to repress and regard as weakness
in themselves those characteri sties seen as appropriate in the
female. The attitude of most boys in our schools to girls is
usually quite evident from the earliest grad'»s« Can they like,
respect or be friends with people who exhibit characteristics they
have learnt to despise?
'Strong' characteristics are seen as appropriate for the male
and those include leadership, control and decision making. Not
only doas this place these areas firmly in the 'masculine' domain,
it also results in generalised assumptions about the potential of
females and the roles that are appropriate for them. By the way -
the surgeon was the boy's mother.
The poi n t is that by def ining 'mascul ini ty' not only in terms
of what it should be but also in terms of what it should not be
and equating those negative characteristics with the 'feminine',
we have effectively put women in a double bind. Women are defined
as the 'opposite' sex whose characteristics fit them for a
different role from the male. The concept of women as leaders,
administrators and managers runs contrary to an ideology learnt at
an early age. It also strikes at the roots of male gender
identity as it is currently defined.
Women's attitudes to thems^^^lves have, like men's, been formed
at an early age. The frequently documented lower self esteem and
confidence of girls is well established by the end of primary
school. Studies of classroom dynamics and playground interaction
in mixed sex situations give us the key to where, as educators, we
might start raising the status of *.'Oinen and girls generally.
Schools need to focus not only on girls in their ^equal
opportunity' programs but equally on boys' concepts of themselves
and their attitudes to girls. This is the long range,
evolutionary way to change.
Invisible barriers to women's progress begin with tne
attitudes developed in childhood. Schools can ensure that at
least they do not reinforce the process but their responsibility
goes much further than this. The aim of schools is to develop the
potential of their students and this runs directly counter to
acceptance of unexamined beliefs about the capabilities of any
group, including females.
Again, all this has been said before. The suggestions and
recommendations for c anging schools are known. They've been
repeated over and over since 1975 ~ teacher awareness, classroom
dynamics, curriculum content and language, subject choice, c:ireer
education, physical education and self esteem. And yet, disbelief
and even hostility still greets the raising of the issues of
girls' education and women's lack or promotion in education
Ge*^ Mng our House in Order
Let's open Pandora's Box a little further and focus or
relationships. The status of women will not be improved until we
radically change the relationship between men and women.
In her recent Australia-wide research on Women Teachers and
Promotion t Dr Shirley Sampson of Monash University identified
several areas where wo»7\en were still disadvantaged in the
education system. She found that although men and women were
equally well qualified at the start of their careers, differences
began to emerge as they continued their careers. These
differences were in the areas of further qualifications, nature of
inservice, experiences gained through task allocation,
encouragement from superiors and spouses, and family
responsibilities. Why should this be?
When young teachers start their careers, they appear to begin
on an equal basis, bringing to their work their enthusiasm and
energy. If they marry or share a household, they tend nowadays to
share domestic responsibilities, although the woman is still
likely to be seen as basically responsible. If thpy have children
the female's career pattern will change? in most cases the male's
will not. If the woman stayn home with the children while her
partner continues his career to earn their livelihood sne will
usually take on full responsibility for childcare and domestic
tasks. He will often undertake further study to improve his
career while his partner cares for the children and keeps the
house running. With their children at school she will probably
resume her career. With both partners once again in the workforce
a strange thing happens. They do not return to the arrangement of
shari^^g responsibility tc the degree they did before the birth of
the children. The pattern is set and domestic and child care
arrangements firmly remain her responsibility. She now has cwo
jobs! Those women who do not marry or have children are not in
quite the same overloaded position but, unlike most men, women are
not provided with the support nor the domestic services of a wife.
That women do as well as they have is the surprising thing.
When a woman undertakes her career and full dojnest^c
responsibilities several things are happening - some quite obvious
and some more £?ubtle. The obvious comparison of men and women's
career possibilities show the inbuilt handicaps. Women in the
two-job category must split their energy, time and concentration,
their possibilities for study at night are reduced and they
already have a surfeit of responsibilities without applying for
more. They do not go home and relax while someone else prepares
dinner every night. They do not reach into a wardrobe and expect
a clean outfit magically to appear. They must not only do these
things for themselves but for several other people as well.
On the subtle levea the assumed responsibility of the female
for childcare and domestic tasks has even more devastating effects
on her position in the workforce. Firstly, it reaffirms the
* naturalness ' of sexual divisions of labour - the concept of
^men's work' and ^women's work' which permeates the entire
workforce, including the education sector. Secondly, it defines
appropriate work for women as derivatives of their domestic and
childcare roles. Thus appropriate careers for women involve small
children or caring for others or being assistants or secretaries
- 64 -
In Australian schools the men's work/women's work dichotomy
can be seen in the allocation of organisational, administrative
and leadership tasks to men as vsdll as responsibility for teaching
the older students while women are more frequently given the
pastoral responsibilities and the younger classes. Experience
required for promotion usually resides in the first set of tasks.
There is no intention to apportion blame here - that serves no
purpose. Nevertheless men need to face the fact squarely that
they have played a not inconsiderable part in maintaining the
In the relationship between men and women only one thing at
the moment is constant - women have the children. Beyond nine
months gestation and an optional period of lactation everything
else is negotiable. There is no genet ic imperative involved in
cooking and cleaning. Like many things contributing to women's
position in society the issue appears trivial. Do not be
deceived. It is quite basic.
While women have re-entered the workforce in ]ara9 numbers and
contributed financially to families men have ;iot in corresponding
proportion taken on a fair share of donestic and childcare
responsibilities. While women are working in two jobs up to and
more than twice the hours that men do and curtailing thei»"
energies and time In their profession as a result but are still
Sf>en as ^naturally' dependent on men, women are frankly exploited
and their potential wasted. What is needed is a personal
revolution in our relationships with each other, starting with
ourselves and our relationship with our own partners if we have
Women who care about the position of women need to take a firm
ptand with male partners in insisting on equally shared
responsibilities couplea v.ith respect and concern for each other's
^.ai f.fers .
Men who are concernod have initially the much more aifficult
Icisks of aji/ing up sevnral privileges and comforts, of working
icngar hours and rurlailir.g certain freedoms. It will take a
great deal of f ai r-mi'^idedness for men to change. Jt has been a
comfortable arrangemenl for them.
Conference participants, male and female, could undertake to
begin this ^personal revolution' and change the position of women
in their perirenal 3ives.
The major purpose in this paper is to draw attention to what
may be two of the most basic impediments to women's progress:
the sexual division of labour which takes its cue from
the family scene and colours the attitudes of both men
and women to concepts of men's work and women's work;
ER|c - 65 -
the current concept of masculinity which requires an
opposite to give it definition.
Each of these issues should be tackled at a personal level -
in our social relationships, in our teaching young people and in
our own careers - and we should use the understandirg of the
underlying issues to inform our strategies at system level.
This is not to deny the importance of systemic and structural
change which other speakers have discussed. The personal and
systemic should be simultaneous, Ths* current changes in the
Victorian Education Department which I have outlined provide
excellent examples of possible structural strategies. In order to
aevelop the ideas, contribute to change and maintain the impetus
of this conference, participants in state groups should maintain
contact with each other within states and among states.
Remember that the riddle at the beginning of this paper is
still incomprehensible to many people - try it on a few
colleagues. The sexual division of labour - men's work/women's
work - is alive and well. That is the basic concept which should
be changed. Women can and should be principals and major
decision makers ,,, and senior administrators ,,, and Directors-
General, And it is time they were!
CH ANGING THE POSITION OF WOMEN IN THE PRIMARY SCHOOLS OF THE
VICTORIAN EDUCATION DEPARTMENT
Marilyn Jatnieson and Barry Sheehan
Many of the problems in education in Victoria in the 1980s have
clear roots in a forty-year history of crisis management. The
demographic explosion together with tho explosion of expectations in
the wake of the Second World War took everyone by surprise and led to
enormous problems in the education sector. The rapid increase in the
birth rate after 1945 and the admittance of five year olds to
Victcrian primary schools from 1946, together with the impact of
Australia's immigration policies in the 1950s, compounded the legacy
of severe economies in the 1930s and wartime labour shortages.
Despite the building of an average of 15 new primary schools each
year and the addition of over 17000 new classrooms beyond that,
between 1950 and 1970, classrooms were greatly overcrowded until well
into the 1960s. Enrolments more than doubled from 186,000 in 1950 to
375,000 in 1972. (Blake, 1973:392) Between 1945 and 1960 it was
difficult to recruit the number of teachers needed. Had it not bt?en
for the employment of temporary teachers hundreds of primary "choolg
would have closed. During the early 1950s the situation was even
worse in secondary schools.
The intensification of recruitment campaigns led the award of
bursaries, scholarships and studentships to thousands of senior school
students, the employment of people with hardly any academic
qualifications, the mounting of crash prog*"ams of teaching training,
and the recruitment of teachers from ovcreaas. Nevertheless, c /en in
the early 19609, there were still bome primary classic of o\«?r 6v
pupils (ABS 1984, 538) although the g&neral staffing si^uat ion had
improvec' to the point that some prima^-y teachers could be transferred
for duty in post-primary schools whi^h were by chen taking the bn.r.t
of the bulge.
The source- of recruits for staffing thp schools can be viev/ed in
the perspective of two interesting dimensions - gender and
As 57 per cent of qualifi3d teaching service personnel, women
predominated only slightly over ^.en in the teachiiig service the
Victorian Education Department in 198'» (Schwarz 1984, 13). Primary
school teaching, on the other hand, ."s a traditionally female
occupation. At the older primary teachers ' col leges (Melbourne,
Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong) enrolments had always been
predominantly female and while th'^ proportion of male exit students
increased slightly during the boom, when new primary colleges were
opened at Toorak (1951), Burwood (1954} and Coburg (1959). women
continued to make up 72 per cent of the primary teaching force which
stood at almost 25000 in 1984 (Schwarz: 1984), Of ths C52 terrporary
teachers in Victorian primary schools in the i,rme year, 88 per cent
were women. A similar profile is evident in the United Kingdom, fanada
and the United States of America.
Although it is cleor that primary school teaching remains a
feminised occupation it is not so clear whether primary teaching is or
really ever has been a route for social mobility. While there is some
evidence that females from lower socioeconomic backgrounds attend
universities and become secondary teachers, thus increasing both their
economic and occupational status, the evidence in relation to primary
teachers is extremely tenuous.
It appears, more from the general literature than any reliable or
quantified data, that primary teaching has always provided an
occupational niche for girls, in particular from middle socioeconomic
levels. It was never as 'profitable' to be a primary college student
(as against a secondary studentship holder). While it is likely that
the proportion of the intake from lower socioeconomic groups increased
during the late 1940s and into the 1950s simply because of the overall
competition for labour during that period, and would always be likely
to do so during phases or high demand for teachers, that does not
appear to be a constant pattern. Despite the relatively low
occupational status of primary teaching it has traditionally been an
'acceptable' occupation for women. Its status among feminised
occupations has been relatively much higher than among occupations
generally and nossibly because of its association with traoitiona]
concepts of maternal responsibility for young children.
During the current period of low demand for primary teachers, with
continuing high enrolment in courses preparing them the relative
proportion of enrolments by gender does not appear to have changed
significantly but there does appear to be some evidence that - at
leadt in metropolitan colleges - the social profile of the student
intake has shifted to favour those with lower socioeconomic status.
The theory that primary teaching is a fail-safe route for the upwardly
mobile therefore appears to be highly questionable. Even the
vicarious mobility embedded in the 'catch a husband' motive cynically
attributed to a certain proportion of female college students in the
boom periods cannot stand up against the evidence that potential
husbands were a bit thin on the ground in colleges with up to 87 per
cent female enrolment!
Established women primary teachers in the Victorian Education
Department have a tough row to hoe. The fol lowing much-r ^produced
table indicates the status and classification of men and women primary
teachers in March 1984.
Tl^e structure shown in Table 1 represents a transition period
between an old and a new career structure, hence the number of people
shown as interim senior teachers, interim special and interim
principals. These teachers were given from March 1982 to December
19.'^-4 to apply for positions in the principal class and P-^.nd 4 and
sufficient positionc were created for them to do so. (Memorandum to
Principals and Head Teachers of Primary Schools. 'New Primary Career,
Structure' from H.A. Nixon, Acting Director of Primary Education,
30 Mar::h 1982). Relative seniority within those classes was to be
restored to 'chose who obtained a position before 31 December 1984 but
not after that date. Onp hundred and fifty-sever per cent of teachers
had not (March 1984) adjusted their positions; 43 Per cent- ^.rp wo^^ei^
and 57 per cent men. The bulk of these numbers consists of men in the
interim senior teacher class.
- 68 -
STATUS AND CLASSIPICATION OF PRIMARY TEACHERS. VICTORIA, 1984
Principal Grade A
Principal Grade B
Principal Grade 1
RanH 9 ^UooH
nanci i» vneaa
Band 1 (Head
Tq o o f* 1
1 1 7
Source : Pol i cy and
Department of Victoria,
Planning Unit (1984) Women in the
Education Department of Victoria,
While Table 1 provides a recent picture of the distribution of men
and women by levels, activities relating to the position of women
within the primary division (as it once was) have been marked by three
fairly discrete periods since the early 1960s.
1960-72 were years nominated by the move towards equal pay and the
Teachers' Tribunal debac^ over the establishment of a Common Roll,
that is, the abolition of two separate rolls for men and women '-»nd the
- 69 -
preparation of a joint roll which would classify male and female
teachers in a combined rank order of seniority.
1972-75 was ostensibly a period of poa*tive discr irination for
women when a Teachers' Tribunal regulation ;as introducx'^d to ensure
that at least one of the three top positions in any Class A school had
to be filled by a woman. It might have been reasonable to expect that
this would have resulted in a significant number of women enlerint*
senior administration positions, and that the model of a woman as a
primary principal would have become well established in the primary
The final period, 1976-1985, covers the period of the introduction
of the Equal Opportunity Act in Victoria, and the removal of sex
tagging tor the top three positions within Special Class schools.
1982 was a year in which great internal changes occured in the
education department, and it was known that those who did not apply
for promotion in 1982 would be severely limited in the next few years.
The termination of the three divisions on 1 April 1983 meant that
senior administration positions would be open to a wider number of
In September 1984 a letter sent by the Director of Personnel to
all Regional Directors suggested that: ^management id€-ntify and
encourage possible women applicants for future administrative
vacancies in their biaiiches'.
It would be generous to suggest that it may have been the
^maternal responsibility for young children' argument, rather than no
argument at all, which led to determination to keep women in the
classroom and have men do the administering of the primary school (not
to mention the primary division and the educa ion department itself).
In any event, prior to 1972 the administrative and formal leadership
of Victorian primary schools rested exclusively in the hands of male
head teachers. Regardless of qualif icf^tions and teaching experience
women were not eligible for appointment to the principalship, but were
confined to the dizzy promotional level of infant mistress and would
^normally be regarded as the deputy principal' who would understudy
Miim' while having major responsibility for the ^administration of the
organisation and instructional program within the infant department'
State governments, both Labor and Liberal, have actively worked
towards changing regulations and the implementation of existing
regulations to allow the appointment of women to principal positions.
A change in the regulations in 1972 enabled women to apply for senior
jobs; but contrary to expectations, as Veronica Schwarz points out, in
1984 *the dis^ribution of male and female teachers (was ) no better
than in 1 925 when artificial ratios wer created to limit the number
of women in senior positions' (Schwarz 1984). Shirley Sampson notes:
that this paradox has occured at a timr when most legal barriers
to womer/s advancement in the Educalion Department have bren
removed - the marriage bar to pe. manency for women; separate rolls
for males and females; entire loss of seniority after breaks in
service for chi Idbearing; r^les-only remote allowances and other
perks - and all the positions are technically open to either sex.
v/hile the Labor Party piedges itself, inter alia, to examine the
^more subtle factors' which are ^still at work keeping women from
decision-making positions in schools', women appear to be becoming
increasingly confined to classroom teaching and low level
administration activities, and students continue to be conditioned by
an authority structure which is dominated by men.
There appears to be awareness among researchers and sympathetic
policy irakers that despite legislative changes, government policy
commitment and open gender access to principal positions, women are
still not fi? ing those positions in a.iything like the proportion cf
their representation in the profession. But a compJex social system
cannot b'3 chan^eed merely by introducing stimuli at particular points.
It is like a tangled web of rubber bands. Relationships within it are
intricate, elastic and capable of accn Tiodating all sorts of
pressures, yet retain their shape under ti>e .nsion of many forces and
counter forces and, of course, are very taut much cf the time. It will
be increasingly important and difficult, therefore, to continue to
convince governments, educators, administrators and planners that
women are still a disadvantaged group, that the removal of the most
obvious legal impediments tor women has not and will not remove
structural discrimination and the effects of social conditioning which
are the outcomes of a society in which men have been the ones who have
framed laws, policies and programs; where men determine what is
important and what ir not; and in which men allocate resources. The
neglect of pre-school child care and education in our society iz a
gross example of this.
FitzGerald points out:
'Forming' the f at ire has two equally important aspects: the
bringing i n o operation of the things needed tc reduce the
'pqudiity gap' betwepn the sexes, and the prevention of retrogradp
frictorB operating to wid^n thp existing gap.
(Fi tzGerald 1981 )
RHffrf> t hp nbvjnun imb<^i3nrec pxplored abr^ve can be addressed by
>^ t r a » p 1 ^, r rhan^ i* is nf^f-en^i^r y to seek explanations for thf^m.
• ' ^ f •* Y I r f ' W' , ' 1 ' • J i . 1 ' . / J v' <•
* * ' ♦ I ' t * * f i 1 ' ' . »• I ^ J r' ' < 1 f ly . <
♦ ► . ' ' ♦ , , ' t . ' ' , ' I J ' 1 » » • i • , ♦
• i y ' * J • ; J t ,''<<-» ,
Weber, Feldman, and Poling (1981) in turn classify the theories under
the headings of Personal and Social roles, Personal and Family
Constraints, and Discrimination Patterns*
While there are many variants the models can be classified into
three main types. The first stresses factors inherent to the
individual and assumes that these factors can be generalised to
explain why women do not pursue careers in educational administration.
The second emphasises a role model for women, particularly within the
profession of education, which shapes the expectation of women
entering the field, leading them to focus on classroom teaching rather
than on administration tasks* The final model highlights the impact
that the organisation has on constraining the advancement of women
from lower authority and low status positions through to the
decision-making levels. While each model places an emphasis on one of
the components it is necessary to reiterate that they all recognise
t^e necessity to look at the interaction of other aspects. There is
no one factor or group of factors which can be seen as the explanation
for the continuing unequal distribution of senior administrative
positions between men and women*
The Woman^s Place Model
Kanter ( 1975-76) attributes the s<>x typing of occupations and
professions to the fact that mar.y occupations are nearly exclusively
filled by members of one sex anu therefore come to have a gender label
assigned to them* The so-called ^helping professions' - education,
social work and nursing - are grouped as areas where the number of
females employed wo>'.ld be greater than the number of males* Within
the^e professions there is a further distinction between male and
In an extension of Kanter's point, it is important to note that
there is a vital connection between the social *-xlocation of domestic
roles to women and the sex differentials which operate in the
workplace because the creation and perpetuation of separate labour
markets has come out through the interaction of market forces, with
attitudes prescribing ^proper' roles for men and women* The profile
of the workforce smply illustrates this connection* Wherever one
looks, not only in education, but in the professions, government,
business and industry as well, the proportion of women rises as one
moves down to the base end of the statistical measures* They are
invariably under-represented at the executive and managerial levels.
Thuj? , Frasher and Frasher ( 1979) suggest that women who teach are
engagi^e in socially designated bahaviours. Male teachers by a
certain age are more likely to be in socially expected management
Thp Woman's Place model argues that wome'^ also accept the
<1ifff>r*-ricp in the roles because of the influence of socialisation
profpfi';r'p. Few women have been exposed to role models of women in
'UT. lor % \ si r eit we pofiitions in education. Estler (197S) notes
Mwit thi.ri* )n rirt dbfj^MK^e of women from the faculty of educational
I'lnir ^tr-j'i r. foarn^M. i o \ hf^ iJn i t pd Spates Universities and Briggs
i'''^ (' • I'yM/*, h.iv^' ur,fo6 rimiiariy for students in the Australian
The small number of women in the role of primary principals in
the United States of America (20 per cent in 1973) and Western
Australia (55 per cent in 1980) and Victoria (21 per -ent in 1982),
for example, may lend support to this argument. On the other hand
there have been two principals of co-educatinal teachers' training
colleges in Victoria - Ida Lowndes (Coburg Teachers' College from 1959
to 1975) and Alice Hoy (Principal of the Secondary Teachers' College
from 1950 to 1957) so that there would have been a number of men and
women who had been exposed to a woman in a senior administration role
even at a time when women were denied direct access to principal
positions of primary schools. Some women teachers, educated in
non-government schools, would also have experienced the situation of
seeing women as administrators. Nevertheless the total number of
women acting as models in dominance positions has always been
relatively small and is not likely to have been influential.
A key argument advanced by those who employ the Woman's Place
Model is ♦■he supposed link between the declining number of women in
senior administrative positions and the level of aspiration of women
teachers, and the view that men tend to identify long- term career
goals in education earlier in their employment than women. The stock
answer to such an assertion is to ask whether the differential
aspirations of men and women are n effect of limited opportunity or
born of deliberate choice. The two are , of course , not separable:
choice is determined in relation to perceived opportunity. Further*
however, it is a glaring nonsense to argue that most women lack Veal
ambition'. Very few men have a driving ambition sustained for years
and decades which enables them to reach the top in their chosen
fields. If around 10 per cent of males are high achievers, 90 per
cent are not. A high proportion of the men who 'make it' have the
support of what Kanter described as the 'wcatn's auxilliary', whereas
those few women who do attain senior positions do not appear to have
the same level of support, (Gross and Trask 1976). Given that
'aspiration' is as conditioned as ^expectation', it is difficult to
design any valid and reliable measure of what women could or would
aspire to if they dared to dream! In this context it is also
difficult to ease ot t in any macro sense to what extent the
aspirations of women ore in fact set by the particular conflict
between 'career' and 'family' and whether or not women accept that
their public and private domains are incompatible, the implication
being that the two choices are mutually exclusive, "^he socialisation
of girls is still heavily influenced by this dichotomy of choice and
may be argued to influence their level of aspiration.
The Woman's Place Model is often associated with trait theories
emerging from the Jungian animus/c>nima dichotomy. While the construct
validity of such theories is questionable, there has Leen much
discussion, of course, about the need to balance the so--called Alpha,
or masculine leadership style with the Beta, a more feminine
leadership style. The Alpha male power style is characterised as
being more direct, aggressive and competitive, and based on a clear
win or lose philosophy, whereas the Beta style, generally perceived as
feminine, is based on synthesising, intuitive, qualitative thinking,
more holistic than the Alpha s*tyle, and more concerned with the growth
and quality of life.
It is sometimes argued that the Beta style is better able to deal
with change, while the Alpha style focuses on the short range,
perceiving change as chaotic or disruptive and relying on order to
control it. It is not certain whether the argument extends to saying
that men are structural functionalists while women are critical social
theorists! As far as is known no studies have indicated that these
behavioural terdencies are innate to one sex or another but it is
clear that sex role expectations tend to polarise the behaviours.
In examining why some women in leadership appear to function just
as ruthlessly as some men and why many younger women moving up in
traditionally male dominated fields test higher than males in the
dominant Alpha mode it has been hypothesised that women believe they
have to assume male-associated attributes to ensure success. The
syllogistic relationship is clear: success requires achievement
oriented behaviour? achievement behaviour requires competitive
behaviour. Competitive behaviour is a sublimated form of aggressive
behaviour. Aggressive behaviour is regarded as unfeminine. Therefore
success is regarded as unfeminine. Deveson reports Schwartz (a leader
in Alpha-Beta research) as saying that this Mf you can't beat 'em,
Join 'em' syndrome would be dangerous to society:
The current paralysis is in part a function of the dominance of
the masculine style of leadership. If it continues to be the sole
model of leadership available, it is likely to lead us
increasingly in the direction of an authoritarian and homogeneous
society. Balancing Alpha and Beta leadership, the male with the
female in both men and women, is necessary to break the deadlock
and to preserve a free and diverse society.
Most commentators who argue thus would hasten to acknowledge thp
feminist axiom, Simone de Beauvoir's principle that the notion of
^'i-n'.inini ty' itself is a fiction. There is no feminine nature, only a
femininp situation which determines the character of its subjects.
Irrespective of the na t u r e /n u r t ur e argument, the reality that,
'femininity' is a concept assented to by society, has to be
confronted, although the term ^ f eminisat ion' is used to apply to a
focus on a social change rather than personal characteristics.
Also associated with the Woman's Place Model are the fear of
failure a'^4d fear of success theories. The fear of failure theory is
commonplace. Horner (1968) postulates, however, that women avoid
promotional moves because of their fear of success - a challenge to
their own sexual identity in a field where they ar<= competing with
men. The argument is that wom^n internalise the predominant social
belief in respect to what is appropriate achievement for W0ii.en in the
workforce. In this way wotpen themselves help to maintain the
separation of roles, heedless to say, institutions also reinforce and
perpetuate these differences.
The varieties of th*2 Woman's Place Model tend to embody deficit
assumptions: women are not equal to men because women are ^deficient'
in certain abilities and skill possessed and valued by men. It is not
particularly relevant in this argument whether the cause of the
inequality is perceived to lie in the person or in her experience or
both, for both represent a devaluing of women -nd ^assume that
dominant male mainstream culture is intrinsically more valuable than
any other' (Gray 1984,16), Blaming the 'victim' detracts from the
problems inherent in the nature of the organisation and may even have
the effect of reducing the promotional mobility of certain groups to
T he Discr imi nation Mode l
It is the means by which the reinforcement and perpetuation of the
separation of roles occur that constitute Estler's discrimination
model. The structure of an organisation determines the constraints
placed upon the promotional opportunities and determines who decides
on the allocation of rewards.
A further explanation often advanced is that there is de facto
positive discrimination in favour of the appointment of men in
administrative positions. The status of women in sorial work, for
example, demonstrates that whil^» women account for two-thirds of the
workforce ♦'here is a disproportionate number of men in administration
and control-oriented jobs and a disproprotionate number of women in
direct practice and care-oriented jobs. The jobs ascribed status as
'men's work', that is, policy and administration, are invariably paid
more than those designated as 'women's work'. The parallel with
primary teaching isi obvious. The irony of the situation in social
work, which also has some relevance to primary and pre~school
ed' ation, is that meii were encouraged to enter the profession in the
hope that the image and status of the profession would be upgraded by
removing the notion that social work is a 'woman's profession'.
It is apparent that both active and passive forms of structural
discrimination operate against women to prevent them from gaining
access to principal positions, largely because those who have been
/-^sponsible for determining the eligibility of applicants for
promotional positions are overwhelmingly men. There was not &7en one
female district inspector in Victoria until 1976. It is also notable
that f rom 1972 to 1975 attempts to introduce positive discrimination
for women teachers was thwarted by moves initiated through the Primary
Men's Branch of the Victorian Teachprs' Union.
The discrimination model assumes that women cannot advance even if
they want to and even if they have the qualifications and experience
required to fill a position. While it is illegal in Australia to
formally state barriers which are blatantly discriminatory in gender
terms, it is apparent that the jobs held by most women workers i-
comparison wit) those of their male counterparts tend to hcve shorter
chains of opportunity associated with them and to contain fewer
achievement opportunities. Males, for the most part, still reserve
the ability to distribute rewards. Those who associate wi^h other
power holders are in a stronger position to take advantage of
favourable mobility prospects.
It is important to know (and for the information to be made
public) whether there was an increase in the number of applications
from women for administrative positions once the obvious
discriminatory barriers v.ere removed; and what was the composition of
promotion committees in the Victorian Education Department., (Both
authors think they have noted, how^^ver, a clear tendency on the p.^rt
of women on selection and promotion committees to be much tougher on
their sisters than the males on the committees.)
The Meritocracy Model
The Meritocracy Model advanced by Estler is the obverse of the
Discrimination Model and is predicated upon the assumption that the
most competent people are promoted according to their ability. It
would follow from this that males have filled the bulk of principal
positions because they were more competent than women teachers
(competence in the traditional education department sense beting
defined in weberian terms relating to seniority, qualifications and
performance, generally in that order). Where the most competent
people are promoted or appointed on ability alone and there are no
systematic barriers constraining members of any group from achieving a
given goal, a truer meritocratic mode] exists.
It is clear that if the meritocratic modsl puts a high premium on
performance, and performance in the classroom is the first hurdle for
getting out of it, v;omen should be much more heavily represented in
administrative positions. According to Gross and Trask (1976) women
principals were generally higher achievers than their male
counterparts at secondary school and college. It is an arguable
hypothesis that the average female student destined for the teaching
profession is more able than the average male teacher student. Lat^r ,
however, women probably tena to take more education and curriculucn
subjects rather than administration oriented courses.
The model also adopts a somewhat simplistic view of the sociology
of organisations, the study of whic!* seems to have largely overlooked
the position of women in organisational structures. When an
organisation is viewed as a large complex social unit in which many
groups interact, gender can be seen rs an important variable affecting
the lives of groups. The gender composition of a group appears to
have impact on behaviour around issues of power and leadership,
aspirations, peer relations and the relative involvement or isolation
of group members.
On the other hand the meritocratic model is non--sexist,
incorporating respect for values and aspirations while seeking to
eliminate sex bias. It does Hi* tie, however, to suggest remedies for
a situation where groups are suffering di sadvan tage ♦ Cende: -f ree
concepts continue to advantage the beneficiaries of the status quo.
Similarly, the suggestion (emanating from the Woman's Place Model in
our classification) that women could he freed from the restriction of
rigid gender-role stereotypes by accepting the androgynous view and
taking on Alpi^^ characteristics (and that men should adopt Beta
characteristics), while gender inclusive insists that jmen become
more like men and continues to represent devaluation of whatever it is
that is different about won.en, irrespective of its basis, biological,
psychological or sociological.
More affirmative or fem^riist models not sufficiently accounted for
in Estler's examination recognisp that the question of change is
- 76 -
political. As Spender (1983) argues, it is about power ^ who is to be
valued, who decides - and the issue of power must be confronted. In
this context, however, it is argued that liberation may be more
significant than equality per se , and liberation requires a
rejuvenation of the concept of power. Power is a fundamental category
of all human experience but it is badly misunderstood and often taken
to be an immoral chacteristic belonging to those who oppose or ignore
the various forms of Judaeo-Christian ethics. It has become something
of a bad word in western culture. Yet power is part of everyone's
daily life, and we need to learn how to talk about power and to
participate effectively in the various -ower relations in which we
inevitably find ourselves (as parents, teachers, lovers, spouses,
employees, employers, citizens, voters, group members and neighbours).
In other words, accessibility to our own aspirational construct is
a freedom and much of the argument embedded in all of the modf^ls
implicitly highlights the relationship between power and freedom. The
attitudes which consign to power a negative meaning have undermined
the social awareness and occupational responsibility of men and women
alike. A clearer understanding of what power means in ordinary life,
how it is related to acting freely and what it can contribute to a
renovated ethics of organisational behaviour is critical to the
success of a sustained program to improve the lot of women in
education department schools. Women in particular must seek power
over power, to influence decisions about who decides.
Power over power implies the possibility of changing what is
considered to be important. It is argued that the so-called Beta or
feminine characteristics - th^ different ways in which women as a
result of experiental factors see and deal with the world ^nd
relationships - are of enormous value in all spheres of endeavour and
particularly education. In any educational organisation, mutual
understanding and agreement as to what the organisation's goals ars
and the means by which th.^y are to be attained is at the core of
administration and teaching.
The people who are b'^st qualified to teach are those with the
appropriate attitudes and skills for the task. There seems to be
ready acceptance of tne success of women in this task. Regrettably,
however, thore is not a career structure at the classroom level where
outstanding t-eachers can be promoted to very senior levels in t»^rms of
both prestige and material reward. Rather, at this point 'the system'
loses sight of its own purpose and things arr organised in such a way
that the further away from the classroom one gets, the more prestigp
and money one is likely to be accorded.
'Administration' in this absurd system is raised to a level of
quasi-religious significance. There can be little question, however,
that the best managers at any level are those with the most stake in
the outcome. It is also axiomatic that those usually recognised as
good managers share at least one common attribute: that is, a tendency
to the view that it is not necessarily their j^b to make sound
decisioiis but to see that sound decisions are made. The concepts of
particip^' .o.. which are now prevalent in educational institutions are
designed in an attempt to ensuie that conditions of work are created
where people understand the objectives, have a stake in the outcome
and where their ideas make a real contribution the results
This concept of participation is based on the notion that wnen
people can think, when they have influence on outcomes, they
support rather than comply or resist... The probability is
♦ncreased that solutions achieved will De sound and fundamental,
not needing constant review and revisior People are able to give
the best of themselves, rather t..an seeking the best for
themselves, as is often time when one's contributions are not
The 9.9 (most desirablp and effective) managerial style identified
by Blake and Mouton is, notabJy, that which is dependent upon those
characteristics associated with the Beta or feminine type. The
Weberian bureaucracy is in many cases, whether at the s'^hool or
departmental level, dying on its feet. The slowness of schools and
education systems to respond to the social and economic needs of tht
young can be laid at the same feet, that is, the bureaucracy with a
heavy stake in the false security of the status quo which has
provided rewards for the competitive, the tough-minded and the
Thus, in terms of strategies a two-pronged argument emerges,
firstly, it has been suggested that administration is an occupation
which is peripheral to ♦'he fundamental purpose of education and should
be forced back into that position in decades to come. In other words
administration should be organisationally redefined to redress the
situation in which its social meaning and expansion have been in the
interests of increasing the situational power of men and have
implicitly denigrated the importance teaching as a career.
Such an approach must be integrated with a rejuvenated concept of
power and leadership resting heavily on ethics of personal and
professional behaviour. Leadership must come from the central
educational domain rather than the administrative periphery.
To achieve such changes will require considerable commitment and
revolutionary discipline but if the goal remains clear and cogent
while the old guard is gradually replaced the new order which is
required for elementary justice will begin to emerge.
In promoting such changes, however, there now appears to be the
danger of a potentially destructive element in the increasing
popularity of androgyny as an 'answer' to the problems of the
subjugation of women. While the concept is essentially neutral and
has clear advantages in freeing people from traditional and rigid
sex-role stereotypes it req»jires that women should be more like men.
There is a strong case that men should be more like women and that
society should concentrate on valuing the things women do and are.
Anne Deveson has stated that:
men have disowned, and indeed are fearful of those qualities whic.i
they have relegated to women, the ability to be open and shut
(Blake and Mouton 19f^,144)
abouf emotions and feelings, the willingness to relate... Women
have projected on the men responsiDiMties for decision-^making,
for being assertive, for taking action where action is required...
It is hard for men to dare to be vulnerable.
We would also have to admit to having little concern about jibes
directed at 'token' women. Many women have and will start off in some
areas as token representatives but at leact get the opportunity to
engage in the learning experience and many do becoir.e extremely
effective despite the isolation they oft.en feel. It is important
whether a woman starts off as a token or not, for her to acknowledge
when she is in a status position that it is not always easy to think
like a woman in a man's world. She should not shed the female
experience or discount hereself because her integrity resides in her
being a woman, not an eresatz man, and that is important at times of
Women, by virtue of their numbers and the removal of form.:^l
barriers to advancement do have the incipient power to change the face
of the career structure in primary education. They must not be
satisifed to have merely the rights associated with equal opportunity,
but must claim and implement them.
Australian Bureau of Statistics, (1984) Victorian Year Book I9f\4.
Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra.
Hlake . L. ed. ( 1 97 3 ) Vision and Real isation , Vol 1. Education
Department of Victoria, Melbourne.
Blake, R and Mouton, J. (1964) The Managerial Grid. Scientific
Methods Inc. Austin, Texas.
Briggs. D.K. and OBrien, P. Women as candidates for educotional
administration, in R. Burns and B. Sheehan (eds.). (1984) Women
and Education, ANZCIES, Bundoora, 251-59.
Deveson, A. ( 1 982) Woman power - or how to avoid extinction. The
Caroline Chisholm Lecture, La Trobe University.
Education Department of Victoria Education Gazette and Teachers'
Aid. 29 January 1972.
Estler, S. 0975) Women in Education, Signs: Journal of Women In
CuliMte and t:ociety 1(2) 363-86.
FitzGerald, 0. (1981) The Seven Stages of Women: Approaching the
End. The Caroline Chisholw Lecture, La Trobe Univ^-rsity.
Frasher, J.M. and Frasher, R.S. (1979) Educational administration: a
feminine profession. Educat ' on-j 1 Adwinistrat ion Quarterb/f
- 79 -
Gray, A. Concepts of disadvantage and models of remediation, in
Burns and Sheehan, eds, ( 1984) Women and Education ANZCIES,
Gross, N. and Trask, A-E- ( 1976) The Sex Factor and the nanagement
of Schools. Wiley, New York,
Horner, M.S. ( 1960) Sex differences in achir^vement motivation and
performance in competitive and non-competitive situations, Ph, D,
Dissertation (unpub.). University of Michigan.
Kanter, R.M. ( 1975-76) The impact of hierarchical structu.^es on Lhe
work behaviour of women and men. Social Problems 23(1), ^15-30.
Sampson, S. (July 1982) Address to Women in Education conference,
(duplicated) Monash University,
Schwarz, V. (March 1984 ) Women in the Education Department of
Victoria, Report prepared bv the Policy and Planning Unit,
Education Department of Victoria,
Spenaer, D. (1983) Bluestocking 45, December.
Trotman, J. ( 1980) Women work and research: the case of education
systems, forking Papers: Second Women & Labour Conference, 2.
La Trobe University,
Weber, M.B», Feldman, J.R. and Poling, E.G. (1981) Why women are
under-represented in educational administration. Educational
Leadership Journal of the Assoc i ation for Supervision and
Curriculum Development , January, 320-322.
- 00 -
TEACHING - AN ATTRACTIVE CAREER FOR WO MEN?
Ann Scott and Eddie Clarke
The argument put forward in this paper is that despite current
high unemployment levels, if improved career paths are not offered to
women within education, an overall decline in the quality ot the
teaching service is likely to take place.
Queensland is used as the case study upon which the argument is
based, though there is little reason to believe that the Queensland
experience is markedly different from that ef other states.
The paper will draw on three main sources. Firot, a monograph
written by co-author, Mr Eddie Clarxe, historian with Ihe Queensland
Education Department, entitled Female Teachers in Queensland State
Schools 1860 - 1983: A History. An overview of this ; aper will draw
attention to some long-term trends in the ^mploymer ' of women teachers
and their role in educational management In Queensland.
Second, a paper ^Contradicti ons, Ironies, and Profpjgpg
Unfulfilled* A Contemporary Account of the Status of Teaching^ by Gary
Sykes, published in Phi Delta Kappani which craws attention to some
disturbing trends affecting the teaching profespion in the United
Last, a hypothesis suggested bv the Sykes paper, examining
statistics contained in the Queensland Tertiary AdmissionE Centre's
annual reports from the l^ce 1970's, will be tested.
Women and the Teaching Profession in Queensland (based on Clarke)
The employment of women in the Queensland education 6/stem has
bee \ the subject of trends and influences which will be familiir to
those concerned with patterns of employment of women. From
constitutional separation from New South Wales in 186^. until 1875 the
recruitment of women was relatively high because it was difficult to
attract males into teaching. From about 1876 to 1880 more males were
available so the recruitment of womwn dropped. From 1881 to about
1890 the Colony underwent rapid expansion and the range of openings
for males resulted in the education system again depending heavily on
the recruitment of females. There was a period of general stagnation
during the Depression from 1891 to about 1894. Although this led to
an increase in the recruitment of males, the education system itself
was expanding so rapidl/ that female recruitment did not suffer. This
was followed by a period of recovery, then growth until the outbreak
of the First World War,
The First World War saw an increase in the role of women within
the education department, including an increase in the number of
female classified teachers. A period of expansion followed, until the
Great De^^ression in the 1930s, when there was again a decline in the
number of women teachers employed.
The Second World War served to break the pattern established
during the Depression and 1940 marked the re-employment of married
women on a temporary basis reversing a regulation made in 1902
requi; ing women to resign when they married (which had consolidated an
existing social practice). This reversal culminated in a provision
for the permanent employment of married women in 1969,
Teaching was an attractive occupation for women during the
While some encouragement was given to women to occupy professional
positions, teaching was the onlv profession generally available to
women. They were just beginning to enter medicine in the 1890's,
which at the time was nrt regarded as a respectable profession for
women. Other professions continued to exclude women, and the
public service remained closed to females until 1902 when women
were permitted to enter the lowest echelon.
Consequently, woiking class and middle class females with
intellectual ability were interested in the teaching profession.
It provided, in the patriarchal society of the time, a ♦ospected,
if not prestigious, position in society before marriage and a
permanent occupation for those who chose not to marry or who had
become the sole bread-winners of a family.
However, the employment and promotion practices which existed in
th^ nineteenth century were not particularly favourable to women. The
Queensland education syster. at this time depended on three levels of
teacher: the provisional (or unclassified) teacher, the pupil-teacher,
and the certified teacher.
Provisional schools were first established in 1869 to cater for an
average attendance of between 12 and 20 students. These schools
usually operated until a state school was establisheo. The system of
staffing provisional rchools operated against the interests of women.
Provisional school teachers had little or no educational
qualification, were unclassified, and therefore not on the promotion
ladder. District inspectors reported that th^ise women were superior
to the men. One asserted that female teachers were better adapted to
the work of small provisional schools laan males, and the department
intended to replace tho men with women as opportunities arose.
However, when the enrolment of a provisional school rose above an
average attendance of 30, the (female) provisional schoo3 teacher was
replaced by a married male classified teacher (who was provided with
an official residence). The majority of the women so displaced were
offered the opportunity of employment in a small community elsewhere.
The department became heavily dependent on provisional school
teachers. Between 1892 and 1902 the percentage of provisional
teachers ranged from ?2 to 26 percent of all teachers in the
Department. Initially they ti:^d mainly been men, but the perce^ntage of
women quickly rose (see Table i).
- 82 -
In 1909, changes in educational regulations reduced the number of
provisional schools, but after this there was little change in the
number of provisional schools (about 60) until the 1960s when they
were phased out. Most of the former provisional schools became small,
one-teacher state schools. Many remained under the control of
unclassified teachers, most of whom were female. During World War I,
with a teacher shortage, the department increased the percentage of
female unclassified teachers.
From early on, females formed a major: :y of pupil-teachers. Many
head teachers gave the large classes in the lower Isvel of the school
to pupil-teachers, while the assistant teachers took small classes in
the upper school. Thus, in the early 1870s, 70 per cent of pupil-
teachers were female and assistant teachers in the upper school were
nearly always male.
But the percentage of female pu p i 1 - t e a che r s fluctuated
significantly between the period 1860-1900. Decreases in the
proportion of female pupil-teachers tended to coincide with the
si owing down in the increase of the school population (1875—1880) and
with the Depression after 1891. Because job prospects were so poor,
the department wao able to employ more males during the Depression and
so decrease the proportion of female pupil-teachers.
Once pupil-teachers had completed their examinations they oecame
classified teachers. The heavy dependence on female provisional
teachers was reflected in the smaller percentage of classified female
than cl jified male teachers (see Table 2).
Promotion was based on passing examinations and receiving
satisfactory reports from ir.spectors. Until 1899 females doing at a
lower standard than the males and were not required to study
mathemat i cs.
A much lower percentage of females Lhan males went on to p-iss the
Class II and Class I examinations. Amongst a variety of explanations
put forward for this from various sources, it was suggested that males
had many more head teacher posts available to them as an incentive.
This question of incentive will be discussed later in tht paper.
The curriculum differences were eliminated in 1898, when algebra
and Euclid were added to the primary curriculum, and female teachers
had to update their knowledge by studying mathematics in their own
time at technical colleges. Despite the fact that the female pupil-
teachers now had to cover more in their training than did the malos
(who were still not required to learn to sew), they still managed to
obtain better examination results than the males. This may have been
because the brighter females had fewer occupational choices than the
males and greater numbers of females were attracted to teaching.
In 1890 a policy was established not automatically to employ
pupil-teach jrs on completion examinations, thus enabling positive
discrimination in favour of males. Through the period between 1902
and 1940 the department ai<-^ed, with varying degrees of success, to
restrict the employment of female teachers to a certain percentage*
This targ€?t figure varied from 33 per cent in 1910 to 40 per cent in
1928. To iichieve this, the department continued to discriminate in
favour of m<ile entry when a policy of upgrading entry requirements was
begun in 1920. Scholarships to the new teacher training college
(esLablished in 1914) favoured males, as had an earlier system for
training secondary school teachers. While males did not always take
up the places reserved for them at the college, especially in the
19208, there was strong competition between women applicants who, as
student teachers, tended to be more academically abl^:.
After 1920 the percentage of female classified teachers rose at a
faster rate than the males. From 1920 to 1940 the percentages of
classified females rose from 52 p3r cent to 88 per cent and the
percentage of classified males rose from 72 per cent to 92 per cent.
Females were paid at a different salary from their male
counterparts. In the period up to 1902 the majority of females
received between 50 and 80 per cent of the male salary rate, with the
exception of the wives of men in charge of small mixed schools who
received no direct payment for assisting their husbands.
In 1874 an official explanation for retaining the differential
included the following:
The equalisation of the salaries could only be done by augmenti-^.g
those of the females, or diminishing those of the males; the
latter would be unwise, the former is impracticable - the cost of
naintaining our educational institutions K"*uld thereby be
increased by about one-third. The present gei.eration of the
stronger sex will therefore, I fear, prevent any serious action
designed to reguls^te the matter contrary to the lav/ of supply and
(General Inspector of Board of General Education, A.R. Campbell)
In 1900 the Minister of Education told a delegation of women
seeking a salary increase that while it was cruel to talk about the
law of supply and demand, he could find no other wa> of describing the
situation. Because a teaching career was not sufficiently attractive
to young men, the department had set males' salaries at a higher rate.
But neither the majority of women teachers nor the teachers' union
supported the minority who sought equal pay. Indeed, a leading
article in the Queensland Education Journal in 1900 opposed it.
However women did react when the differential between male and female
salaries was changed, increasing the disadvantage of female te-^.chers.
- 84 -
This change took place in 1898 when the salaries of male assistant
teachers were raised but the salaries of female assistant teachers
remained unchanged. When the women tried to stir their Union
(QTU) into action, they initially had a lethargic response. A
study of the Union's Journal, the Queensland Education Journal
of 1900 leads to the conclusion that the editor was not
sympathetic towards; the women's cause. He dared them to fight,
but his tone suggested that he did not believe they would.
Uhen the women became more militant, the Journal quickly became
more supportive on the issue, as did the union as a body. After the
women had demonstrated an independent spirit, the Journal exhorted
them not to disregard the union.
The equal pay issue was not resolved for half a century. In 1967
the issue went before the Industrial, Conciliation and Arbitration
Commission which ruled that equal pay should be introduced. This was
phased in over the ^lext four years.
Throughout the period 1904 to 1939, the policies of the department
of Public Instruction were strongly influenced by J D Story, a public
servant prominent in education over many decades. Story was appointed
to inquire into the reorganisation of the public service and in so
doing stated that women should fill the lower Jobs:
The higher positions should be filled by malea for economic and
administrative reasons, and because of their family
The Department of Education followed the course of action
advocated by Story. Women were restricted wherever possible to the
lower rungs of the public service and males benefitted from positive
discrimination, even in the lower rungs.
Significant changes in the pattern of employment of women in the
education service in Queensland have taken place recently. From the
1960s improved conditions, especially for married women, have led to
more women undertaking teaching as a life-lcn^ career. For example,
since 1969, married women have been entitled to apply for permanent
However, during the last four decades there has been a reduction
in the number of small primary schools and an increase in the number
of large primary schools. This has created strong competition for the
direction of the one-teacher school, the lowest rung in the
promotional ladder. Up to the 1930s a majority of these schools had
females in charge. By 1980 this situation had changed completely. Of
the 111 Class VI (one-teacher) schools, only 15 had female principals.
Furthermore, the precedent established in 1976 allowing women to
be appointed to the position of principal of a mixed high school has
not led to a significant increase in the number of women in such
Recent changes in employment policies have thus resulted in equal
pay. They have also contributed to the alteration of employment
trends observed in past depressions and recessions. During the
current recession, the percentage of female teachers employed has
risen instead of falling, and the percentage in 1983 (60 per cent) has
been surpassed, since 1860, only in four other years, those between
1918 and 1921.
However, the percentage of principals' positions occupied by
females, which j^.adually declined after the 1880s has continued to
decline during the last decade, even though fewer impediments to
female promotion appear to have existed over this decade.
Paradoxically, the recent gradual elimination of the categories of
male and female positions of responsibility within the Department of
Education has operated more to the advantage of males. Furthermore,
no female has yet risen above the rank of inspector, the first one
having been appointed in 1919 (see Table 3).
The Underlying Assumption
One of the major assumptions underlying the employment of teachers
has been that while males have to have positive inducements to join
the profession, similar incentives have not been necessary for
females, who choose teaching faute de mieux, because of the absence
of satisfactory alternatives. Other incidental lessons can be dratvn
both from the reluctance of the union to be drawn into the struggle
for greater equity, and from the reluctance of many women themselves
to be similarly drawn.
The question might also be asked as to why the promotion of women
into management positions has actually declined while so many other
inequities have been eliminated.
If the trend of low promotion rates among women continues three
effects may be expected; first, the morale of those women of high
ability already in the teaching prof ^sion is likely to decline, and
low morale may well lead to a lowering of teaching effectiveness;
second, education systems will be likely to lose women with high
administrative ability because of better opportunities elsewhere;
third, the evident lack of career prospects will discourage the most
able women from entering the teaching profession.
The United States of America (based on Sykes)
While bearing in mind this apparent decline in opportunity for
career advancement for women Wxthin the Queensland education system,
an assessment will be made of the current state of the teaching
profession in the United States of America, put foi'ward in the article
Sykes sees tne teaching profession in the United States as
imperilled. He bases his assessment on the analysis of three topics:
the teaching occupation and its position in the US occupational
structure; the i ns t i t ut i onal i sa t i on of teacher education in the
multipurpose university; and the prevailing view of the relationship
between knowledge and practice in teaching. It is the analysis of the
- 86 -
position of the teaching profession in the occupational structure in
the United States which may have significant parallels in Australia.
The picture Sykes portrays of the development of the US teaching
service is similar to that in Australia, The largely feminine
workforce du-'ng the period from 1840 to 1950 'was characterised by
high turnover ahd low salaries'.
Recruitment and work rewards, together with a unique position in
the occupational structure, combined to supply the necessary
members. Teachers gave up income and advancement opportunities in
return for the fulfillment of ideals related to service, a
convenient work schedule, and a certain esteem (albeit shadowed)
tendered by the community.
(Sykes 1983, 88)
He lists other characteristics, then concludes:
Finally, the critical - though hidden - element that kept the
teacher workforce adequate in size was the blocked career path for
educated women and minorities.
(Sykes 1983, 88)
Sykes continues by identifying a series of trends which has upset
the balance of attractions and circumstances that served in the past
to attract teachers. In particular, two of these trends are
First, the loss of occupational prestige:
No longer the best-educated members of many communities, teachers
feel an intangible but nonetheless real loss of standing,
especially in the eyes of their college-educated peers. Some
unpublished evidence indicates that, between 1963 and 1980, public
school teachers suffered a greater loss of occupational prestige
than any other occupation in the study.
(Sykes 1983, 88)
Sykes dcis not mention the additional loss of esteem resulting
from the persistent and frequently ill-considered attacks on teacher
competence, attacks which appear to have become increasingly
politically acceptable in the United States as well as Australia.
Rather than facilitating improvements in teaching, these attacks perve
further to deter able people with alternatives open to them from
choosing teaching as their career. The currently fashionable non
sequitur that education systems are tc blame for the high level of
youth unemployment can only add to this decline in the attraction of
teaching as a career.
The second point, that women and minorities (principally negroes
in the United States) suffered blocked career paths elsewh»-.e, ia the
one which led to the investigation of recent patterns of course choice
- 87 -
in Queensland which follows. Historically, men have had alter. lative
career choices, and the education system had to compete with these
alternative choices in order to retain able male teachers. Sykes
draws attention to the effect of the recent broadening of occupational
choices foi women:
The occupation of teaching (now) stands little chance of
attracting the academically talented. Although the standardised
test scores of teachers have always been low, the decline in these
scores between 1972 and 1980 has be^-^n somewhat steeper than the
national average. Studies show that scores among women in
teaching have declined in particular, a situation that is probably
related to the expansion of career opportunities for bright
females. Another study reveals that the proportion of high
scorers in teaching has declined markedly - evidence that the
cream is being skimmed.
As a broader range of careers has opened up for these groups and
as pressures on women to work have increased, the best and
brightest among col 1 eg^e-educated blacks and women have turned to
more lucrative and more prestigious careers than teaching -
careers that were denied them until recently. Ironically, social
progress has taken a heavy toll on the occupation of teaching.
Trends in the Queensland ^Occupational League Table"^
Since 1980, the Annual Reports of the Queensland Tertiary
Admissions Centre, have separated out statistics on female applicants.
They were examined to see what courses the most able females were
choosing and whether there were any trends evident which might support
Sykes' thesis that the most able women were increasingly choosing
other career options than teaching.
In particular, ♦'hose courses which were unlikely to be followed by
a Diploma in Education, and thus the least likely to eventually lead
to school teaching were examined. The trends in social work
enrolments were also perused, in the light of Sykes' assertion that
teaching, nursing and social work no longer enjoy a monopoly on the
powerful occupational motivation of service careers that promise
meaningful work with and for others. These were compared with
education course intakes.
Table 4 demonstrates what can only be described as the
institutional league table, based on the choice of institution by
Tertiary Entrance Score. From this one can see that the University of
Queensland tends to cream off che most able students, having a minimum
entry of 880, and a concentration of students in the 900b.
Table 5 provides the mirror image graph of percentage enrolments
in the University of Queensland, male and female. The percentage of
women has risen steadily since 1950 (when the figures on which this
was based started), to 1982-84 where enrolments have not been far
short of 50 per cent.
(Sykes 1983, 88-89)
- 88 -
Table 6 shows the increase in the percentage of women enrolled by
faculty. From this it will be seen that while the percentage in
education has increased and in social work has remained steady, there
has also been a considerable rise in faculties such as medicine, law
and veterinary science.
Thi s can be c ompar ed with the median tertiary entrance score, by
course rather than by faculty (Table 7)* For the sake of comparison
some courses outside the University of Queensland are included as they
appear to conform to a general trend. From this one can see how the
occupational league table looks, with medicine consistently taking the
highest ability students, followed by pharmacy, arts/law, engineering
and law. What is particularly significant about this table is that
the social work median tertiary entrance (TE) score has dropped, as
has the B Ed Studies. Commerce degrees both at James Cook University
and at the University of Queensland have been able to demand an
increasingly high TE score, whereas the oducation courses appear to be
lowering their TE requiroments .
Tabl es 8 and 9 gi ve the numbe r s of women enrol led in a range of
courses during 1980-84. These also seem to confirm the impression
that the most able female students now condider that other careers may
hold more promise than the teaching profession.
The tertiary entrance score is a measure of secondary school
achievement, expressed in an aggregate score. It does not represent a
form of standard intelligence test as does the American Scholastic
Aptitude Test. Looking at TE scores indicates which courses the best
secondary achievers are rating highly. It may be that there are
complex explanations for these trends which contradict this
interpretation. However, when figures to corroborate Sykes' point
were sought, they were found very easily.
There are also indications that this is probably a general problem
within Australia. The Beazley Report records that, in Western
Australia, teaching is attracting a lower entrance score than the
other professions, and the recent Commonwealth report. Quality of
Education in Australia, also alludes to the problem of declining
quality in teacher recruits.
The purpose of presenting the figured is to lend support to the
suggestion that education systems, though faced with the dilemma of
increasingly tight funding, cannot afford to ignore the potential
decline in the intellectual ability of its recruits. Despite current
high unemployment levels it is no longer safe to aosume that the most
able women will be entering the teaching profession. The supply and
demand arguments which have traditionally been used to support
applying different employment policies to men and women should be
Sykes asserts that recent developments have irreversibly undercut
the relative attraction of teaching; the only recruitment resource
that remains is a working schedule fitted to the demands of
childrearing and affording ample opportunity for recreation' . (page 89)
It may have been realistic to recognise, as did the Queensland
General Inspector Randal MacDonnell, in 1865, that:
While the teaching profession opens an honorable and profitable
career (perhaps the only one in this country) to educated women,
it is by no means so attractive either in its immediate gains or
in ultimate pecuniary prospects, to young men who ... can turn a
moderate education to better account in the banks and offices of
If those currently administering the education system are not
alert to the dangers, more and more yoking women may also turn a
moderate education to better account in the range of careers now
offering to them. While it will always be possible to recruit some
female teachers, withoL*t the expectation of equitable care'^r prospects
ahead of I hem it may prove increasingly difficult to recruit the most
able women to teaching.
Teaching appears to be slipping down the occupational league table
for females as well as males. If this trend is allowed to continue it
i^.ay contribute towards setting Australian education on wh^it Sykes
describes as 'the downward spiral in quality'. It is therefore as
important for the quality of education as it ia for the principle of
equity, that women's prospects in educational management in primary
and secondary education be re-evaluated.
In the interests of the quality of the teaching service it is
essential to ensure that women perceive teaching as offering a career
which provides recognition for academic, teaching and administrative
ability in which the opportunities tor advancement are palpably as
available to able women as to able men. Rather than saying "this is
not fair" perhaps we should be saying "this is unwise".
Beazley, K. (chairperson) (1964) Education in Western Australia,
Report of the Commi ttee of Inquiry into Education in Western
Australia, Perth, Western Australia.
Clarke, E. (1985) Female Teachers in Queensland State Schools 1860-
1983 - A H i storg t Policy and Information Services Branch.
Department of Education, Queensland.
Karmel, P. (chairperson) ( 1985) Quality of Education in Australia:
Report of the Review Comittee. AGPS, Canberra.
Sykes, G. (1983) 'Contradictions, Ironies, and Promises Unfulfilled:
A Contemporary Account of the Status of Teaching', Phi Delta
Kappan, October , 87-93 .
- 90 -
PROVISIONAL SCHOOL TEACHERS, QUEENSLAND, 1873-1908
In 1909, the number of Provisional Schools was reduced to about 60,
the others being re-classified as Statn Schools.
Women as % of
all provisional teachers
Women provisional teachers as
% of all women teachers
CLASSIFIED TEACHERS: 1860-1945
After 1946 the number of Classified Teac}'
continued to rise until it reached 100%
Male classified teachers
as % of all classified teachers
— "-'Ma3e classified teachers
as of total maie teachers
Female classified teachers
as % of all classified teachers
Female classified teachers
as % of total female teachers
o o ^
PERCENTAGE OF WOMIN ENROLLED BY FACULTY (NOT COURSE)
UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND, 1930-84
O - Agriculture
^< K Law
— — Medicine
—* — ^ Science
• • • • Social work
Q~ - ^o Veterinary Science
MEDIAN TERTIARY ENTRANCE SCORE FOR
COURSES, QUEENSLAND INSTITUTIONS,
, . .»,/HQ <TE^20)
social work/UQ <TE-10)
, ^r.,w>..rf-,./JCU (TE-«^25)
b. business/DDI AE (TC+IS)
Bocial Mork/JCU (TE-10)
NUMBER OF WOMEN ENROLLED
IN SELECTED COURSES,
UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND:
B. Social Work
TP 9:^ (-t^30)
TE 905 (-5)
" tE 990 (no chanq>)
-f E 975 ( + 10 )
TF- 980 (+20 )
jQ B. Engine ering
ERIC 5 t
NUdiiB OF WOMEN ENROLLED IN SELECTED COURSES, JAMES COOK
UNIVERSITY, GRIFFITH UNIVERSITY AND DARLING DOWNS INSTITUTE
OF ADVANCED EDUCATION: 1980-1984
MEDIAN TE INCREASE
THE SOUTH AUSTRALIAN EXPERIENCE
It would be gratifying in a parochial way to be able to claim
that ^ the South Australian experience' for women in primary and
secondary education is remarkably different from the current
status quo in other states but that is not the case. The South
Australian system has carried a similar historical and cultural
burden and it is only comparatively recently that the evidence of
that burden - our structures and attitudes - has been challenged
by equal opportunities philosoph/.
In South Australia the education system's efforts to remove
structural barriers and discriminatory practices is done in the
context of an overall government policy to promote equal
opportunity. In this regard, the department has been at the
forefront in the promotion and implementation of that policy,
mainly because of the calibre of the leadersnip in the Women's
Advisory Unit established in the mid-seventies.
The department has been fairly diligent in the past decade to
remove overt discriminatory barriers to women's participation on
an equal basis in the workforce. Both the Sex Discrimination
Act and changes in departmental policy have been instrumental in
There have been some impor tan t achievements in removing
structural barriers to women's opportunities for promotion in
schools but, partly because of the overall squeeze on resources
and promotional opportunity, at this stage there has not been a
significant rise in the number of women occupying managerial
positions at the school level.
The structural changes which have been introduced include;
• The introduction of ^open' positions. Over 50 per cent
advertised principal and deputy principal positions
are not filled through hhe inflexible ^order of
promotion' system. This means that any person who has
been assessed as eligible may apply for these positions.
If teachers take leave of absence for child-rearing
purposes and they are eligible for promotion their years
of absence are now counted towards eligibility.
T^ere has been a five-year exemption from the South
Austral i an Sex Discrimination Act to allow women to
er. ter secondary deputy positions. This is positive
discrimination towards a more balanced gender profile in
the leadership of secondary schools. It does, however,
depend on a demand coming from the school communi ty for
There is a policy of permanent part-time teaching, which
gives flexibility to people with child-rearing and other
commitments, without forcing a break in service.
- 100 -
PRINCIPALS (HEAD TEACHERS) OF SCHOOLS
(INCLUDING ONE-TEACHER, HIGH AND SPECIAL SCHOOLS)
TERTIARY ENTRANCE SCORES BY INSTITUTION, OF ALL FORM A
APPLICANTS ADMITTED IN 1984 BY THE QUEENSLAND TERTIARY
Several thousand teachers have taken advantage of this
Parenting leave has been introduced, in addition to
accouchement leave for teachers, although this cannot be
It is compulsory for all interviewing panels to include
an equal opportunities representative.
Equal opportunity policy statements apply at all levels
in the system.
However, despite these measures there has not been a
significant rise in the number of women occupying managerial
positions. The publication Equals put out by the Women's
Advisory Unit makes clear that on an overall percentage basis in
1984 only 6.6 per cent of all women in the teaching profession
held promotional positions, compared with 32.3 per cent of men.
As women made up 57 per cent of the teaching population and men Ai
per cent this meant in effect, that men held 79 per cent of all
promotional positions, and women 21 per cent. While at this point
these statistics paint a somewhat dismal picture, what is of
interest is that while women continue to predominate in the junior
primary principals range, the gender balance in the previously
Impervious secondary school promotions area is just beginning to
Apart from the specific equal opportunity changes mentioned,
the department has recently put into place a new corporate
management structure of area (decentralised) decision making which
has resulted in the appointment of a significant number of women
to senior posts - director, assistant director -and superintendent
levels. While this is not an example of improvement for women
currently at the school level, some of these senior women have
been drawn direct from primary principals positions.
In addition, part and parcel of the new area structure is the
provision of superintendents for equal opportunities. They belong
to Student and Community Services (SACS) teams in each of the five
area offices. (Four of the five assistant directors responsible
for SACS are women. )
While it could be predicted that these changes in the
corporate structure will have a positive influence on promotion of
women at the field level, this theory remains to be tested.
The final point to be made in the 'structural' context is that
the South Australian Education Department is one of eight
government departments in South Australia which have recently set
up equal employment opportunity committees. The education
aepartment's committee will be assisted by a senior project
officer and will develop an equal employment opportunities
management plan to cover public servants, teachers and ancillary
staff, with the focus on disadvantaged groups, including women.
This is an ambitious task and will involve senior officers in the
Department, including the Director of Resources, Helga Kolbe.
While these structural changes have been an achievemen^, , many
women would argue that they do not go far enough and that positive
discrimination, particularly during the current promotional
squeeze, ought to be extended. This is where the far more complex
and deep-seated problem of attitudes must be confronted. One of
the reasons why Equals felt it necessary to underline the
statistics on women's promotion was the evidence of a new
mythology - that women were moving into all the promotional
positions at the expense of talented, capable males. The backlash
had begun. If an analogy is drawn between the 1952 and subsequent
desegregation rulings in the United States then it can be
predicted that the attitudinal barriers to the equal participation
of women in the workplace will be of far greater significance than
the legislative and policy barriers ever were.
The attitudinal restraints not only come from a defensive (and
powerful) male workforce, generally convinced of its superiority
in all matters managerial. They also come from women themselves
who, unlike their male counterparts, often lack encouragement from
their male superiors and who constantly fight a mental battle
about the worth of climbing into a male defined managerial world.
These barriers are far more pervasive, subtle and resistant to
Then of course therp are those who see the moves in the equal
opportunities area to be a sign of weakness on the part of
administrators. One instance will suffice.
Within the education industry itself dissenting voices have
be&n even rarer in Australia than among politicians. Senior
bureaucrats have rarely been personally convinced by radical
nostrums, but they have been terrified of being labelled as
reactionary, as sexist, as racist, or indeed as fascist, if
they resisted the spread of the Left Ascendancy. John
iinle, the Director-General of Education in South Australia,
IS a typical example of a political innocent ever willing to
make concessions to pressure groups so that conflict and
unpleasantness might be avoided. In a recent brochure
entitled Equal Opportuhities , which was distributed by the
thousand in South Australia, Mr. Steinle writes that, ^This
Department recognises that particular groups are disadvantaged
by our present education system. The largest of these groups
is girls.' If he believes this to be true he ought to have
resigned, since he rose to power in a system he condemns as
discriminatory, but Mr. Steinle cannot seriously hold for one
moment that girls in the schools of South Australia are
disadvantaged educationally simply on account of their gender.
Such statements are made in fear of the antagonism of the
angry wimminfsic), just as gross statements about the
educational discrimination suffered by all children whose
mother tongue is not English are mere genuflections designed
to show solidarity with groups which apparently wiald
considerable political clout.
(Partington, G. (1985) After the Sheridan
Affair. Quadrant June.)
- 102 -
How can these people be challenged?
Firstly, as mentioned above, there has been a significant
increase in the number of women in the senior echelons in the
department. There are distinct and positive differences in the
way these women approach and carry out their jobs. They are in
sufficient numbers to have an impact on the male definition of the
^successful' manager in education. As more women are able to
enter senior management positions, one can anticipate more
^gender-inclusive' models of managemen t which are far more
attractive to aspiring women in the field.
Secondly, Professor Eileen Byrne has made reference to the
need to ensure that women are given experiences in timetabling and
other administrative ^male' provinces, ^not merely counselling and
social infrastructure' responsibility areas. This prompts another
perspective. As education systems belong to the broad category of
human services perhaps they need to consider how they can place
more value upon these vital ^social' responsibilities.
In this context the South Australian system is currently
examining ways of rewarding teachers who take on additional
assignments within their schools for defined periods of time. This
will provide an opportunity to elevate some of the school tasks
traditionally considered less important and to reward outstanding
teachers whose prospects are limited by the promotional
Thirdly, professional development opportunities for women
which enable them to have a greater personal and professional
influence within the school environment are vital. The Women's
Advisory Unit has done an enormous amount to support school-level
change and in the long term this will have far greater impact than
any top-down approach could achieve.
Fourthly, education, not Just of girls but also of boys, must
be relied upon if we are to overcome the att^tudinal problems
inherent in our society.
To close, while the South Australian experience is fledgling
and as yet unreir.arkable in the area of women's promotion to senior
school positions, tribute should be paid to the many women in the
system who have worked solidly to gain attention for the issues
and then to develop the ensuing equal opportunities policies which
are now in place in the state. They have achieved much in a
difficult climate when apart from the general resources squeeze,
the needs of other disadvar/ aged groups are placing new d mands on
the energies of educators. They have created a threshold, a
beginning, and have shown the way forward.
GENDER EQUITY POLICY IN THE
EDUCATION DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA
The Education Department of Western Australia is committed to a
policy of equal opportunity. It sees this as being achieved in two
major ways. The first is through the overhaul of the staffing system
to remove direct and indirect factors which may result in
discrimination on gender grounds and ho redress current inequities
through affirmative action. The second major direction which is long
term in its application is concerned with changing the social
expectations and attitudes of the community so that women may compete
on equal terms with men for senior positions within the education
Staffing Policies Prior to 1984
The education department employs some 13 250 fulltime teachers.
Of these 5 500 are men and 6 200 are women employed in primary and
secondary schools. Despite the fact that there are more women than
men, men outnumber women by more than three to one so far as
promotional positions are concerned. This imbalance would be far
greater if the department has not retained sex linked deputy principal
positions in all primary schools with eniolments of 300 or over and
all secondary schools. The legitimacy of retaining sex linked
positions may be challenged under the recently introduced equal
The existence of sex linked positions has tended to disguise the
Imbalance of men and women in senior promotional positions. In the
senior administration, only one woman occupies a position at the
director level. There are fourteen positions at or above this level.
There are only eighteen women at the superintendent (inspector) level
out of some 107 positions. Of these ten are in what might be termed
sex stereotyped roles (junior primary, home economics, commerce, equal
opportunity). There is no right of appeal against departmental
decisions to appoint at this level. The imbalance however exists
because the previous promotional history of male applicants gives them
significant experiential advantage over f emal e appl i cants when
appointments are being made. In addition males often have a
Further evidence of the imbalance is evident if the position of
principal is examined. There are over 500 male principals in primary
schools but only 30 women. At the secondary level men outnumber women
by 137 to five. It is clear that if any reasonable balance is to be
achieved then there is need for affirmative action.
For several years the department has been attempting to increase
the number of women in senior positions. The results have not always
been as anticipated. Two examples may serve to illustrate. Prior to
1982 there were separate promotional streams to primary and junior
primary pr incipalships. With restricted opportunities in the latter
area which was restricted to females, the decision was taken to
integrate the lists to give women greater access to primary schools.
The result was the filling of junior primary pr incipalships , almost
- 104 -
all of which are in the metropolitan area, by males who gained
experience with young children as teacher~in-charge of small schools
and who were able to transfer to the more advantageously located
Junior primary schools from country primary schools of like
classification. A second device was the creation of senior assistant
positions which required teachers to have special strengths in one or
more or a variety of specialised areas, for example, early childhood
or remedial education. It was believed ♦'hat these positions would be
particularly attractive to women. However the bulk of the positions
are now occupied by men.
The Committee of Inquiry
During 1983-84 Western Australian education was thoroughly
examined by a Committee of Inquiry, chair'^d by Kim Beazley. The
committee directed a great deal of attention to staffing matters and
recommended the extension ot a system of promotion by merit. At
present cnly two in five positions in secondary schools and one in
three primary promotions are filled on the basis of merit.
The committee proposed that by 1990 all promotional positions
should be filled on merit, that merit should be based on formal
evaluation, that formal evaluation should be based on the widest
possible range of relevant data, including input from professional
colleagues, and that all promotional positions should be filled for a
limited term (five years). The person formerly filling the position
would be eligible for reappointment under this recommendation.
The Beazley Committee also endorsed the principle of affirmative
action. The recommendation relating to this provision was that women
receive at least 50 per cent of all promotions over the next five
years or at least should be appointed in proportion to the number of
Implementing the Recommendations
A joint working party consisting of departmental and union
officers was charged with the responsibility for advising the Minister
on the implementation uf Beazley recommendations. The committee met
frequently during 1984 with the intention of implementing changes on a
pilot basis in 1985 with effect from 1 January 1986.
In reviewing the existing system of promotion in primary schools
it became clear that geographic mobility has be<?n an extremely
important factor. In this state there are fi/e classes of schools
graduated according to student enrolment. Appropriately qualified
teachers may avoid passing through the smallest of these schools by
accepting other promotional positions. However, in order t- o gain
promotion to larger schools, typically it is necessary to take up an
appointment in a small school (enrolment 32 plus). The majority of
these schools are located in rural areas and thus willingness to
accept a country posting is an almost essential ingredient in the
promotional system leading to the primary school principalship. It
was this factor which ensured that almost all such positions were
filled by men who tended to be more mobile. The system requires
principals to serve for two years in such a position before becoming
dligibie for placement on the promotion list for tne next largest
clafloif icaticn of school. As a result, teachers must spend at least
threo years in c small sirhool before moving to a larger school.
Typicalx/i however, pro^refa'Sion io very much slower than this. Few
wciiien have sought promotion through this route. They have tended
instead to fill the sex linked deputy principal positions which are
approximately equal in statub to the position of principal of the
second largest class of sci'ioo] . Several years age, in an attempt to
encourage women to take up promotional positions as principals, a
change to the previously existirg practice was made. This change
allowed women who were deputies in th«j largest (Class lA) primary
schools to be placed on the promotion list for appointment to Class II
schools. These schools have enrolments between 100-300 students. It
might ha*'e been expected that such a move would have led to a number
of women gaining promotion. This, however, was not the case. There
were two reasons. The first was that, as the most recent additions to
the list, they were too low oi the list to receive 'general'
promotion, that is, automatic promotion based on the list placement.
However, to qualify for the one in three 'special' positions, all
applicants must signify their willingness to serve wherever required
in the state. There are many Class II primary schools in the
metropolitan area of Perth. These, however, are normally filled by
the transfer of principals from country locations. Thus women who
aspired to the pr incipalahip had to be prepared to accept a country
appointment for at least two years and few proved to be willing to do
The situation at the secondary school level is less acute s-nce
there are less grades of secondary schools. Pr incipalchips of schools
which cover the year range 1-10 are available to both primary and
secondary applicants. Eligibility to apr.'v ie based on one of several
alternative promotional positions, including the sex linked deputy
position; however, only two women have accepted such appointments.
Promotion -to the prlncipalship of a high school (years 8-12) requires
the applicant to have been a deputy principal or principal of a
district high school (years 1-10). Typically, these positions are
achieved after a period as a senior (subject) master. Because of the
shortage of women applying for deputy positions in the more remote
schools it has been possible for some f-^male applicants to bypass the
positions. The result has been that there are & few relatively young
female deputy principals. To preserve equity with males these women
were required until recently to have served as long as males before
coming eligible for promotion to the pr incipalship. The removal of
this requirement recently has >.i to the appointrant of a number of
women but they still comprise ci .y a very small percentage of high
A^f f irmativf? Action Provisio ns
The working party, in deciding what should be recommended to the
Director -General, realised that to change the existing distribution of
principalshi s within primary schools within the five year period
specified by the Beazley Report, strong affirmative action measures
would be n<?ressary. The working party examined the length of total
service and thf amount of service in administrative positions of males
CiChl- ing promotion to principals of Class I schools and recommended
thac women with a comparable period of total time and experience as a
deputy of a Class I primary school or a more senior position, should
be eligible to apply for ^special promotion', that is, promotion by
merit to a Class I school. This recommendation which was accepted by
the Director-General cut across the long standing tradition of
graduation to the pr i nc i p a 1 s h i p of larger schools through the
pr incipalship of smaller schools (Appendix 6).
It was not surprising that there was a great deal of concern among
males expressed in the main through the Primary Principals'
Association. Opposition also came from male deputy principals, the
wives of principals in small schools and, somewhat surprisingly, from
female teachers who signed protest petitions which were circulated in
In the face of this very strong opposition there was almost no
support from female teachers. It is interesting to note that of the
several hundred letters received on the topic, few objections were
raised to the principle of affirmative action but the assumption was
made that this could be done in a way which did not discriminate
against males. The Primary Principals' Association which was totally
opposed to the scheme was invited to suggest alternative methods by
which the objective of providing a more equitable distribution of
promotional positions between males and females within the overarching
requirement t^at such promotions should be merit based. No acceptable
alternative proposal was received.
As a result of this change to the regulations some 50 women were
made eligible to apply for special promotion to large primary schools.
Only nine availed themselves of the opportunity. Eighteen men also
applied for the sixteen positions which became available.
Appointments to promotional positions in primary schools are made
through an Appointments Board. They are made on the basis of
references which come respectively from a superintendent,
supe r or dinate , a peer and a subordinate. On the basis of these
references the Appointments Board recommended four women for the
position of principal Cl^ss I primary school.
In the opposition prior to the appointments being made the opinion
had frequently been expressed that if women were appointed they would
be younger than their male counterparts, lacking in significant
administrative experience and would have done little country services*
Uhen the appointments were made it became clear that this was not
the case. The average length of total service of the successful women
was marginally grea^. er than that of males receiving similar
appointments. The average length of time during which women had
occupied promotional positions of the level required was somewhat more
than that of successful male applicants and the average length of
country service of the successful women was 12 years.
The promotion by merit scheme will be extended in 1986 to include
promotion to smaller schools and an affirmative action component is
included in these proposals also.
The working party in mking its recommendations concerning
affirmative action had rejected the Beazley Committee's recommendation
erJc - ><" -
that 50 per cent of all promotions should go to women. It did so on
two grounds. The first was that any scheme based on quotas was
inconsistent with the concept of promotion by merit. Further the view
was taken that since women had been denied promotion in the p^st the
50 per cent quota might give less positions to women than if merit was
the only criterion applied. Pragmatically also the view was taken
hhat if this were to be done there may be insufficient applications,
particularly for the more remote schools. Instead of moving to a
quota system, therefore, the Committee instead chose to give increased
eligibility to women for a period of five years while extending tha
promotion by merit scheme to all promotional positions within the
Education Department of Western Australia.
Difficulties in Achieving More Women in Management
The woiJcing party's recommendation is that once a ful] promotion
by merit scheme is implemented the requirement that all applicants for
special promotion should indicate their willingness to serve wherever
required will be phased out. While on the face of it this will
increase the likelihood of well qualified, experienced and capable
women achieving promotion without the need for extended periods/ of
country service, in fact, it is doubtful if this will occur. The
reason lies in the priority which is given to teachers who are
transferring from country locations over those who are being newly
appointed to promotional positions. While this requirement remains,
and it is necessary to retain it because of the large nu^-ber of very
remote schools in Western Australia which must be st.iffed by teachers
of high quality, it is unlihely that the number of women who will
achieve principal positions will increase dramatically. It may be
that some form of incentive payment or accelerated promotion for those
willing to take positions in remote locations may reduce this problem.
However, there is a good deal of evidence which suggests that this is
unlikely. It therefore seems that until such time as community
attitudes change to the extent that it is socially acceptable for the
male and family to accompany the female family member who must
undertake country service then women will continue to be under-
represented at the school management level. Alternatively womeii may
commute from reasonable accessible country locations as males have
done for many years. It is in the bringing about of changes in
community attitudes that the schools program described below is
As mentioned earlier, women have difficulty in competing for the
most senior Jobs because of lack of relevant experience or possibly
qualifications. In the recent past there has been a conscious effort
to ensure that women are considered for travel and study scholarships
which will help redress this situation.
Many previously existing structures which have inhibited the
promotion of women have been identified and removed in recent years.
However, there are many hidden and often subtle disincentives to women
to seek promotional positions. It is to identify these with a view to
their removal th%t an Equal Employment Opportunity Branch has recently
been set up within the department.
This section, which will work directly to a policy committee
chaired by the Deputy Director-General of Education, will not only
- 108 -
identify and recommend measures designed to increase the number of
women in promotional positions but will monitor progress towards this
end and will be involved i.. ensuring that women have access to the
training opportunities which encourage them to seek promotion.
Curriculum Reforin and Women's Role in Educational Management
A strong commitment to curriculum reform pertaining to gender
equity is an important accompaniment to industrial and personnel
policies aimed at making schools more equitable workplaces. In the
long term a significant and equitable number of women in management
positions can only be assured if there exists in society an unbiased
faith in the abilities of both men and women. In this context the
current commitment of the Education Department of Western Australia to
equality of educational outcomes for male and female students is
Gender equity policy in curriculum in Western Australian schooly
seeks equality of outcomes for male and female students in areas such
as levels of self esteem and self confidence, patterns of
participation and achievement in all formal and informal curriculum
offerings and ability to be economically, socially and personally
independent and competent. Adoption of such a policy has two
important consequences for the likely role of women in management in
primary and secondary education.
Firstly, commitment to gender equity for students seeks to ensure
that the coming generation of teachers who are currently students in
our schools, experience schools as places providing equal scope for
personal and career satisfaction for males and females. Hopefully
when these youngsters become teachers affirmative action will not be
Secondly, it is clear that sexist policies and attitudes are
prevalent in schools which delimit the educational experiences of
girls and boys. These policies and attitudes have at their root the
same factors which cause the lack of opportunities experienced by
men as teachers. The professional development process pursued by
teachers when working on school policy to benefit their students has
been found to generate an understanding or consciousness of gender
equity issues which bears fruit for women in the staffing and duty
allocation within schools. In other words, the environment in which
counter-sexist education is emerging is itself becoming less sexist
for female staff.
In Western Australia, the lynch-pin of curriculum policy on gender
equity is that every school will be rxpected to develop a
comprehensive, across-fche-curr iculum action plan aimed at stimulating
equality of outcomes. Each teacher will be expected to monitor his or
her own classroom and to develop strategies for countering sexist
Support for the process in schools was increased in 1984, with the
establishment of an Equal Opportunity Branch headed by a substantive
superintendent. Currently 5.5 centrally-based professions! officers
provide a consultancy and resource base for schools. A Policy
Advisory Committee on Equal Opportunity, chaired by the Deputy
Director-General was established. Other key elements of the education
department's program in this area include:
Appointment of co-ordinators of school policy on gender equity to
a number of pilot secondary schools. Each has 0.2 time teach2r
Conduct of a series of seminars for teams of teachers from
primary and secondary scho- le to equip them with skills and
knowledge needed to commence and maintain a whole school approach
to gender equity policy. Teacher relief is provided for these
Conduct of a series of teacher in-servire courses (mostly with
teacher relief) focusing on key issues in gender equity. In 1985
topics addressed include the secondary school sports program, self
esteem development, classroom dynamics and girls and computers.
Development of a collection of counter-sexist teaching resources
for use in schools.
Production of teaching and other resources when needed (Appendix
Establishment or harnessing of communication channels throughout
the system to stimulate debate on the topic. (This includes
running an annual Women in Education Conference.)
Provision consultancy service? to schools on this issue.
Provision of support for adoption of a genc'ar inclusive
perspective to general processes of policy develonment, and
curriculum materials production throughout the department.
Supporting a very innovative action research/teacher development
project entitled *Person-to-Person' on the topic of classroom
dynamics. This project has support from the Projects of National
Western Australia, like other states, recognises the educational
and industrial concerns arising from the imbalance of women and men in
management positions in schools. Western Australia is, perhaps,
unique in the strength of its current commitment to positive
discrimination for women. Even before state affirmative action
legislation was enacted this year, the education department was firmly
committed to this program. A promising start has been made in Western
Australia to achieving more equal represantation of women in
management positions. However, it should be recognised that shifts in
pol icy somet Imes create less real change in the first instance than
the rhetoric promises. This has certainly been our experience in
Western Australia. It is essential therefore that efforts bx-
continued in both the short term through affirmative action programs
and in the long term. It is likely that until a generation of girls
have had the experience of regarding themselves as equal there will
not be achievement of the goal of equity irrespective of gender.
- 110 -
WOMEN IN MANAGEMENT IN PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN TASMANIA
Beverley Richardson , Margaret Lonergan
and Jan Edwards
The Current Position of Women
In Tasmania the proportion of males and females in the staffing
quota for the teaching force is detailed in Table 1.
PROPORTION OF MALE AND FEMALE TEACHERS » 1934
Primary education 76
Secondary education 42
Special education 75
Tables 2 to 5 detail the senior positions in the primary,
secondary, tertiary and services/administration
SENIOR POSITIONS IN THE
Senior teacher 188
Infant miBtress/master 36
SENIOR POSITIONS IN THE SECONDARY SECTOR
Females Tota^ Percentage
Senior master/mistress 100 451 22
Vice-principal 15 79 19
Principal 2 54 4
SENIOR POSITIONS IN THE SPECIAL EDUCATION SECTOR
Level Females Males Percentage
Senior teacher 14 17 82
Vice-principal 1 2 50
Principal 8 16 50
SENIOR POSITIONS IN SERVICES/ADMINISTRATION
Females Total Percentage
Senior education 8 31 26
Supervisors 3 15 20
Principal education 2 14 14
Officers paid above 5 28 18
I The one area of seniority where females hold about as many
^ positions as could be expected from their numbers in the teaching
force is that of senior teacher in primary schools.
I The Department is conscious of the need to equalise the
distribution of senior positions. The hope is that the senior
teachers will be applying and getting future Jobs as vice-principals,
! and, eventually, as principals. This cannot be a rapid process.
I Reference to Table 1 will show that if 76 per cent of vice-principals
were female (the proportion of females in the teaching force) it would
be 90 people. At the moment there are 31 female vice-principals,
which leaves a shortfall of 59 people. In the past few years, only
two to five vice-principal positions have been adverLised in the
primary section each year. Even if all future positions were to be
filled by women in the ratio 7:3 it is easy to see that the process of
equalisation will be a very long one.
The other tables indicate that there is a long way to go before
the proportions of males and females in the teaching force are
reflected in the senior positions.
The Promotions Proceas
All promotable positions in Tasmania are advertised openly and
have been for nearly twenty years. There are no barriers and any
person may apply for any position.
The main criterion is suitability. However, in practice anyone
applying for a position must have a current report and assessment.
The report is written by a Principal or other senior officer, and this
is the only access a Principal has to the Promotions Committee. The
assessment is given by the appropria' superintendent or Inspector and
this is the only access the superintendent has to the Promotions
Commi ttee .
The Promotions Committee consists of one elected primary and one
elected secondary representative from the Tasmanian
Teachers'Federation, one nominated primary and one nominated secondary
representative from the department plus a department nominated
chairperson. In 1985 the chairperson is male and there are two female
representatives and two male representatives.
Balance of Applications and Appointments
In 1984, 1050 male and 225 female applications were received to
fill 103 positions, and 79 positions were filled by males and 24 by
females. From January to June 1985, 719 male and 126 female
applications have been made for 46 positions which have been filled by
33 men and 13 women. It is interesting to note that for four vice-
principal positions there were 168 male and 21 female applications.
One was filled by a man and three by women.
Table 6 lists perc^-ntages of male and female applications and
appointments in 1984/85.
APPLICATIONS AND APPOINTMENTS BY SEX, 1984
* Applications 1984
% Appointments 1984
* Applications 1985
X Appointments 1985
The Mobility Study
The study of the mobility of teachers in Tasmania was completed in
1983. The research was conducted over a period of two and a half
years and sought to discover what options for mobility, other than
promotion, teachers would support.
The study was a combination of group discussions of representative
groups, individual interviews and a questionnaire distributed to a 20
per cent random sample of teachers at all levels. The response rate
was 80 per cent of ueable material.
There were fifteen options presented and of these five were
strongly supported in general and in personal application:
master teacher (same difficulty in implementing)
paid positions of responsibility
automatic review after ten years in a position
mandatory retirement at age 60
There were differences between male and female responses in:
(more female support)
permanent part-tine positions
automatic review after ten years at one school or in one position
(more male support)
temporary paid posts of respo.;sibility
secondment to industry and commerce
There were systems-wide perceptions of how to obtain promotion and
these were not collated on a male/female basis but they are
having a university degree
moving between schools
not spending more than five years in one school
being involved in further study through inservice or post-
being heavily i^ivolved in extra-curricular activities in the
school and the community
making a usef^Jl and valued '^nr tr ibut ions at school and systems
having a string sense of a career timetable, career map and
strategy, indicating goa'.s and how they intend to accomplish them
obtaining the first promotion in a minimum time (approximately
obtaining and mainta* ling a sponsor or sponsors which may mean
conforming to the views of the principal or other superiors
willing to wjrk in un'ieslrable work locations
gaining administrative type experience
being seen as o competent class teacher.
Reason for seeking promotion
The following main reasons, which do not appear in any particular
order of relevant importance, were given by interviewees regarding why
they seek promotion.
For some teachers promotion appears to be necessary if thev are
to satisfy the motives which brought them into teaching.
The spur to seeking promotion may come from the accumulation of
experience which gives teachers confidence that they can do a good
Job at a higher level on (he promotion ladder.
One motivation is the wish to earn more money.
Some, as a result of observing their colleagues, come to the
conclusion that they could do a better Job than those who have
already achieved promotion.
Some seek to establish new professional challenges due to a
feeling of boredom in their current post.
Some seek promotion a? a matter of pride or because they feel
that if they do not seek promotion it is a public admission of
Some apply for promotion after receiving encouragement from
professional peers who say such things as 'you can do it' or 'we
think you would make a good senior teacher'.
Some want the public systems level recognition of competence
which promotion implies.
- 115 -
Some want the increased influence and power which promotion
It would appear that the most important reasons for teachers
seeking promotion were:
wish to maximise their influence and power within their school
and/or the education system with a view to improving that school
wish to have more freeedom in their work;
need to establish new challenges in *-^r^^r to relieve or reduce
the threat of boredom.
T eachers in Promotions Positions
Table 7 details the status of teachers in senior positions in 1984
including all full-time personnel in schools, colleges, and
administrative and service branches (including the Division of
Recreation) at 2 July, 1984, but excluding those with the status of
superintendent or higher, and all Division of Further Education
STATUS OF SENIOR TEACHERS, 2 JULY, 1984
Senior masters, mistresses
Regional guidance officers
Senior guidance officers
Principal education officers
Senior education officers
Self-esteem Programs in Tasmania; a case study
In Tasmania i priority has been placed on the need to change
attitudes and awareness levels of people in schools. Tue department
is trialling a significant strategy for bringing about changes in
relations between women and men and girls and boys. It i j an
extremely popular, we 1 1-r ecei vod program supported by children,
teachers and parents.
- 116 -
In 1983, Tasmania was funded for a Cowaonuealth Schools
Contwission project of National Significance. The program was
initially aimed at girls who were perceived as being 'at risk'. It
involved trialling strategies designed to increase their self image
and to help them feel that they were in control of their own lives.
It began in five high schools and one district school with two part-
time project officers. In the early days, the project officers were
often seen as ^pushy' women with some kind of grievance about
opportunities for girls. Optimistically the program was called
In 1985, the program has taken off and is growing rapidly. Self-
esteem programs are funded and supported by the Participation and
Equity Program. They are for boys as well as girls. Non-government
schools are also involved through the Commonwealth Schools
Commission* s Professional Development Program and its School
Improvement Scheme. The Professional Development Program also
provides in-depth training courses for teachers in the area of
interpersonal relations. The self esteem project has one full-time
officer and two part-time field workers.
Until 1985, courses have been taken in single-sex groups. A few
schools that have been involved longe- are working with mixed groups.
Some men are taking these school -based self-esteem courses with
students. Usually, they begin by helping students and in the process
learn a great deal about themselves and their relationships with
others, particularly women. The projei^t assumes that men and boys
must also be involved in efforts to change attitudes and behaviours.
Some Emerging Trends
During the two and a half years of the project's operation several
trends have emerged:
Women who have been part of the staff development programs have a
better sense of their own worth.
There is an improved sense of team work for greater numbers of
ptaff. The project makes it easier for teachern to be involved in
group decision-making processes. Factions and cliques in
staffrooms have become harder to sustain.
Some schools are beginning to look at their internal arrangements
and organisational patterns. Leadership tasks are being
reallocated. I/omen are being given a high profi> while men are
being seen in a more caring capacity.
Parents are supportive and interested and in several cases take
part in the inservice programs.
Parents report better relationships with their children,
particularly daughters who become less surly and better able to
listen, to talk calmly and to reason.
Girls feel confident about expressing their point of view in
class. They do not blush and feel as embarrassed as they did
Boys at first are startled to find that they are competing for
the teachers' time.
Some schools are beginning to feel that the work is valuable and
they are seeking to have it included in the normal budget. How to
further mainstream the strategies into the curriculum is being
investigated. There are signs that Vings is already beginning to
change the secondary school environment and make it more empathetic
towards women and their experiences and contribution. The program is
bringing about a climate of acceptance where a wide range of issues
relating to women and girls can be addressed sensibly. Appropriate
strategies such as these for working at school-level change must be
found if women are to avoid frustration and antagonism in their
efforts to achieve equality.
Education Department of Tasmania (1984), Wings - A pilot project to
increase self-esteem in girls. Tasmania Government Printer.
- 118 -
WOMEN IN EDUCATIONAL MANAGEMENT IN THE NORTHERN TERRITORY
The CompoBition of the Teaching Service
The evidence in the composition of the Northern Territory Teaching
Service is that there is the same hierarchical ranking of women and
men that is reflected in teaching services throughout Australia, even
though the Northern Territory Teaching Service is the most recently
formed and the traditional barriers of continuous service and
seniority are not present within the promotion system. D^affpite the
fact that women constitute 71 per cent of teachers at the Band 1 level
(that is, the classroom teacher level) their proportion decreases
dramatically in the move up the seniority ladder (see Table 1).
PERCENTAGE OF WOMEN AT EACH BAND LEVEL OF THE NORTHERN TERRITORY
TEACHING SERVICE, JUNE 1985
Position % Female
Teacher Band 1 71
Teacher Band 2 primary 57
Teacher Band 2 secondary 44
Teacher Band 3 primary 29
Teacher Band 3 secondary 14
Teacher Band 4 primary 21
Teacher Band 4 secondary 21
Note Band 1 equates with classroom teacher
Band 2 equates with senior teacher
Band 3 equates with deputy principal
Band 4 equated with principal
The Northern Territory has had a system of peer assessment leading
to eligibility for promotion since the Commonwealth Teaching Service
was first introduced in 1973. This is a particularly time-consuming
process as far as individual classroom teachers are concerned so there
is a suggestion that this mitigates against women in the sense that *c
is too taxing on the limited time available from family
responsibilities and professional concerns. The average age of the
population is much younger in the Northern Territory than in other
parts of Australia and this means that there are larger numbers of
young children. A very high proportion of mothers of young children
work, due in part to the very high costs of living. Teachers are no
exception to this and the demands of child rearing are very dominant.
As seniority or country service are not prerequisites for
promotion it is my suspicion, borne out by evidence which emerged in
Shirley Sampson's research, that women see themselves in the role oi
the nurturers within the family structure and pay the consequence
However, this is by no means the whole of the story. Women do not
appear to be under-represented in the professional associations and so
are apparently prepared to make the requisite time commitments to be
involved in activites they see as relevant and worthwhile.
But within the advisory and administrative segments of the
Department women are under-represented (Table 2).
MALES AND FEMALES IN ADVISORY POSITIONS IN THE DEPARTMENT,
Senior education officers
Principal education officers
Why so Few?
Some of the reasons that women do not try for promot ion are
proffered in the following few lines. Many do not apply for
office-based positions because they prefer school hours and holidays,
as these enable them to cope with their family responsibilities. Many
wish to remain in the school situation because that is where they see
themselves having the most effective role. Possibly they have little
idea about office-based responsibilities or lack the confidence to see
themselves in an v%dvisory position. Whatever the reasons they
continue to give dedicated service in the classrooms and are largely
ignorant of the wider spheres of interest within the department.
Would it be too naive to suggest that they do not understand the
department and therefore do not progress within it?
It appears that many women are not aware of what extra
responsibilities are involved in senior positions at either the school
or head office level. It could be that very often they would find the
senior positions and responsibility less taxing than the constant,
demanding attention and concentration needed within the classroom.
Women in the main centres of Darwin and Alice Springs have the
opportunity to attend women in management and women at work courses
which are conducted under the auspices of the Equal Opportunity Unit
within the Public Service Commissioner's Office. There has been a lot
of interest ahown by women in education in the courses which give a
historical perspective of women in the work force and concentrate on
developing confidence and career paths for participants.
The Northern Territory has a very high turnover of staff on a
regular basis. It is not difficult for women to become the head of a
department or to take up a senior position if they are interested -
often there is no competition. However, once in the job there are
assumptions made about the level of knowledge. It is assumed that
promotees automatically know everything they should by virtue of
having the position. There is a real need for the development of
seminars to be run at schools so that seniors who need professional
instruction into the mysteries of the school timetable and other
vagaries of school administration can receive such information in a
professional way. Women often tend to blame themselves rather than
the system for what they do not know. Is this because of their
inexperience and low self confidence? Men are also affected but
because of expectations and relationships have a better idea of how to
Teachers in the Northern Territory participate in course writing.
Often two or three days are set aside to produce a course. It is
difficult to feel happy with the results and participants often feel
inadequate. The majority of teachers are not trained in curriculum
writing and without bridging and information courees tend to feel as
if they have been thrown into very deep water. When women see others
wrestling with heavy responsibilities without adequate support it is
understandable that they lose interest in assuming similar burdens.
Women are discouraged by a male hierarchical system. It is
difficult to imagine that their problems will be recognised as
important. They could give each other valuable support through groups
or committees within the school or work place wherein common areas
could be identified, discussed and acted upon. It is the perception
of some that one of the ironies of life is that female principals can
be harder on women than on men - perhaps because they have set
themselves such high standards.
Changes have begun. The responsibility for equal opportunities
has been included in a superintendent's position. A position of
education for girls officer has been established and that person has
done much to show that girls are at the same disadvantage within the
Northern Territory system as they are in other places. There are
moves afoot to have an equal opportunity representative on selection
panels. The department has declared itself to be an equal opportunity
employer. Every selection panel must have both sexes represented on
it. It is proposed that organisations and associations be asked to
nominate both a woman and a man when putting forward nominees for
committees so that a reasonable ^alance can be established in the
departmental committee structure. A working party is looking at the
training needs of promotees.
There remains much to be done, including the development of an
equal employment opportunity policy, giving particular attention to
the training needs of women. The attitudes of both women and men will
also have to change towards each other in society at large. Women
have to seo» themselves in leadership roles and strive to get there.
There is no doubt that they have the ability. The challenge is to
find the strategies to enable them to utilise their full potential.
ERIC - 121 .
WOMEN IH EDUCATIONAL MANAGEMENT IN THE AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY
Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
As a commonwealth statutory authority, the ACT Schools Authority
has accorded a high priority to achieving Equal Employment Opportunity
(EEO). The stage of ensuring that EEO becomes a routine part of
management and supervision functions and setting of targets in the
implementation of objectives has been reached. The Authority's
emphasis in accelerating the progress of women into middle and senior
management positions is through personal professional development.
The Authority has moved to involve women in educational management
through its EEO Program. This program has the full support of the
Authority as a result of its decision in 1984. At that time the
Authority, which is the participative policy-making body (the term is
also used for the government school system), made a commitment within
the framework of the merit principle to:
policies and practices which do not discriminate against
individuals on the Lasis of political affiliation, race, colour,
ethnic origin, social origin, religion, sex, sexual preference,
marital status, pregnancy, age, physical or mental disability or
any other unjustified ground;
a continuing process of monitoring policies and practices to
determine whether they have direct or indirect discriminatory
effect on its employees;
the introduction of affirmative action programs by which groups
3een as disadvantaged may achieve equality of employment
opportunity within the Authority.
At the same time that the Authority adopted its policy statement
in relation to EEO, it also defined the concepts of affirm tive
action, discrimination and sexual harassment in line with the
definitions used in commonwealth legislation as follows.
Affirmative action consists of a planned, outcomes oriented
series of programs and changes designed to overcome indirect and
systemic discrimination embedded in apparently neutral practices
Discrimination occurs when a distinction is made resulting in one
person or group being less favourably treated than others in
Direct discrimination in employment occurs when a person or
group of people is specifically denied a benefit or
opportunity on the basis of a personal characteristic
irrelevant to the Job requirements.
Indirect discrimination in employment occurs when a policy,
rule or practice which may appear neutral and is applied
- 122 -
impartially nas an adverse outcome for a substantially larger
number of one group than another thus reducing the chance
that a member of the particular group will benefit.
Systemic discrimination is a term which describes the system
of discrimination created by a network of rules and practices
which constitute indirect discrimination. Systemic
discrimination is self perpetuating because each
discriminatory action which disadvantages one group
simultaneously s'/rves to advantage another group. Therefore
these processes are cumulative and self reinforcing. Direct
discrimination contributes to systemic discrimination through
the cumulative effects of discriminatory attitudes and
bel ief s.
Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination which covers a
range of unsolicited behaviour which constitutes a deliberate
verbal or phys ical affront of a sexual nature agai nst another
person. It includes such unwelcome actions as sexual advances »
requests for sexual favours or other conduct of a sexual nature
such as comments or physical contact. Where the recipient of such
behaviour has reason to believe that a rejection of the advance,
refusal of the request or objection to the conduct would
disadvantage the recipient in his/her employment or possible
employment, the recipient may seek redress through grievance
The Chief Education Officer (CEO) was given the respons? bill I ty
for the achievement of EEO due to his functions as the re'-'evant
authority in relation to staffing under the Public Service Act and
the Commonwealth Teaching Service (CTS) Act. The Schools Authority
defined the following duties for the CEO:
devise programs to achieve the aims of anti-discrimination
communicate policies and programs to all employees;
collect and record appropriate information as part of the
continuing review of personnel practices within the Authority,
including recruitment techniques, selection criteria, training and
staff development programs, promotion and transfer policies and
patterns and conditions of service with a view to the
identification of any discriminatory practices;
set goals or targets, where these may be reasonably determined,
against which the success of ^ a management plan in achieving its
aims may be assessed;
propose strategies for the evaluation of policies and programs;
and report regularly to the Authority on equal employment
To assist the CEO the Authority gave formal recognition to the EEO
Committee which had been formed in July 1983 at the time when the
- 123 -
Band 2 position of EEO Coodinator was established. The Authority
decided that this committee should be chaired by the Senior director
(Resources) and should also include:
a nominee of the CEO
two ACT Teachers' Federation nominees;
two Australian Public Service (APS) union nominees;
the non-sexist education consultant;
the EEO coordinator (executive member).
The terms of reference for the committee are to Provide advice to
senior officers of the Authority in relation to:
. development, implementation and review of the EEO management plan
for CTS and APS staff;
priorities and targets in the implementation of objectives;
evaluation of initiatives when implemented;
data on the employment of women and disadvantaged groups as the
basis for planning future initiatives;
reports from the CTS and APS coordinators;
. other relevant matters which arise in the context of EEO
The committee meets monthly and works closely with the relevant
flections of the Office of the Public Service Board. It alflo repo. t3
bimonthly to the CEO and flenior cfficerfl.
The initial operational objectives, which were devised by the EEO
Committee early in 1984 as a means of progressing towards the
achievement of equal employment opportunity were commended by thp
Authority. They are as follows:
to achieve senior management commitment to the objectives of
equal employment opportunity for all Authority staff;
to promote management understanding of, and cooperation in, the
implementation of the Authori'.y's EEO policy pertainir to APS and
. to ensure that EEO r e-po ,s i bi 1 i t i es become a routine part of
management and supervision functions;
. to eliminate all c 1 sc r imi na • ory practices in selection and
to ensure proportional representation of women on all Authority
committees, task forces, working parties, selection panels
. to increase the numbers of women in promotions positions and
declPion making roles;
- 124 -
to acquaint all staff with their rights and responsibilities
under the Sex Discrimination Act 1984;
to provide appropriate grievance procedures for dealing with
alleged discriminatory behaviour;
to ensure that data on m'lle and female employees is kept
systematically in a format that enables data to be retrieved
readily for research;
to raise awareness of the i&suee and forms of sexual harassment
of both staff and students in educational institutions.
Profile of Women in ACT Educational Management
As the following statistics illustrate, the ACT has been typical
of education systems in its assumption that women do not aspire to
careers in education management.
Only one of the top seven positions in the Authority's office is
held by a woman and only two of twelve section heads are women.
Sixty-seven per cent of all personnel in the Commonwealth
Teaching Service (CTS) are women and in the primary area 86 per
cent of all positions are held by women.
Women comprise 70 per cent of all Band 1 positions, 52 per cent
of all Band 2 positions, 32 per cent of all Band 3 positions and
10 per cent of all Band 4 positions in the CTS.
There are no women in Band 4 secondary school positions. Only
five of the hundred positions at Band 3 and 4 levels in secondary
schools are heJ.d by ^omen. Three women from primary backgrounds
currently hold Band 4 secondary classified positions in the
Two women holding Band 3 secondary positions hold eligibility for
Band 4 positions.
Eligibility has been a prerequisite for promotion to a substantive
position at each band level in the CTS. Four years of recognised
teacher training is a prerequisite for substantive promotion to
positions classified as secondary at the Sand 3 and Band 4 levels.
Table 1 sets out the position for personnel having eligibility but no
TABL E 1
TEACHERS WITH ELIGIBILITY BUT NO SUBSTANTIVE POSITION, MARCH 1985
Barriers to EEO
Some of the major barriers to be overcome in the EEO program are:
the effects of the eligibility system;
the insensitiv: ty to EEO issues of selection panels;
the assumptions of senior management (particularly in secondary
schools) in relation to women's career aspirations;
the number of promotion positions likely to be available;
lack of mobility between pre-school/pr imary and the secondary
Overcoming the Barriers
El Igibi ] ity . Senior staff no longer regard eligibility as mandatory
and have considered proposals to remove it as a prerequisite for
promotion. However, the ACT Teachers' Federation currently has a
policv in support of its retention. Recent conferences indicate that
just short of a majority of federation members are dissatisfied with
it. The strongest justification for replacing the eligibility
procedure with direct application for positions is that eligibility
adds to the existing selection barrier for women seeking promotion.
This is possibly the biggest single barrier to speedy implementation
of a program designed to see women more influential in educational
Selection procedures for all vacant APS and CTS positions. Selection
criteria for all APS and CTS positions now include an EEO criterion. All
advertisements for positions contain the information that the authority is
an EEO employer. All selection panels receive a briefing on their EEO
responsibilities and provide the EEO coordinator with a report on progress
toward the achievement of EEO at the end of each semester. Each panel
contains a mix of men and women. Guidelines for selection panels are being
alert panels to indirect discrimination (anecdote method);
- 126 -
put emphasis on future potential as well as past experience in
interpreting the concept of ^merit';
clarify the relevance of ^personal qualities' to overall
efficiency for candidates in designated groups.
The barriers which are still to be overcome include:
effective staff training for all potential selection panel
provision of women nominees on selection panels in proportion to
their representation within the service;
the clarif icati on of the concept of merit in a situation where
seniority is a criterion required by the CIS Act in appeals when
candidates are equally efficient.
Career aspirations , Much has yet to be done to adapt work patterns
and career structures to accommodate family responsibilities. There
has not been a systematic survey of the assumptions of senior
educational managers in ACT schools. However, women setting out their
grievances in relation to discrimination in eligibility and promotion
procedures have frequently mentioned these a.'sumptions . During 1984 a
workshop on EEO issues was held for Authority members and senior
Office staff. In March 1985, <i? a first step to sensitise senior
management in schools to non-sexist education issues, the Authority
coordinated a successful conference for 31 senior school managers.
However, there is a need to provide extensive EEO awareness training
for all senior personnel. Inservice courses have been provided since
1983 in assertiveness training, job application writing and meeting
procedures and on the Sex Discrimination Act 1984.
At the same time, through school-based committees action is being
taken to promote career planning for wc*wn. Women are invited to help
draw up career plans for themselves. Senior managers are being asked
to identify and encourage female subordinates or colleagues to involve
themselves in this career planning and then to apply for jobs. Women
do not apply for as many Jobs as men and a wider range of women should
be encouraged to apply for a broader range of jobs. Concurrently it
is aimed to offer women more varied work experience. There will be
stress on women taking up short-term higher duties allowance positions
so that they may increase their management skills.
All schools have been requested to provide a senior officer and
one other officer to manage EEO. For example, at Lyneham High School
and Narrabundah College, the EEO coordinator has been invited to
assist their EEO committees to draw up school-based programs. These
will include a staff survey, data base and personal career planning.
Selection for promotion positions of less than six months is
determined at the school level. An important component of the school
EEO plans will be the adoption of selection procedures ii. line with
Progress has been made in ensuring that there is at least one
woman member on all committees and task forces at the system level.
- 127 -
Number of promotions positions. In spite of the opening of new
schools, the size of the school system is fairly static. However, the
number of teachers in promotions positions who are approaching
retirement is increasing. Some 64 per cent of teachers occupying
Band 3 positions and some 93 per cent of teachers in Band 4 positions
are over the age of 45. This represents a marked change from a decade
ago when most older staff in promotions positions had returned to New
South Wales at the beginning of the ACT school system. This situation
could provide more promotion opportunities in the next ten years. In
the immediate future, however, staff reductions announced in the
commonwealth's May Economic Statement will reduce opportunities; at
some band levels there will be no promotions opportunities for the
1986 school year. Women currently have been forced to define their
professional satisfaction in terms of their classrom skills. An
important factor in changing women's definitions of career
satisfaction will be to develop predictors of the availability of
promotions positions and to make this information accessible to women.
Hobil ity . Psychological barriers betwen pre-school/primary and
secondary sectors in education remain. Traditionally, management
skills in primary schools have been considered as less than those in
secondary. Selection panels have consistently been reluctant to
promote applicants from another sector. This is a matter which has
national implications and is one on which this conference may wish to
make a recommendation.
The Authority is currently working on its EEO management plan
required under the Public Service Reform Act ?984 early in October
1985. The Authority is using the guide provided by the Public Service
Board (PSB) and adapting it to its needs. It is also participating in
the PSB Survey on EEO which will provide a data base for monitoring
progress on the management plan.
The shortage of child care facilities, the public transport
system, the design of cities, shopping, banking and office hours, the
general separation of public and private life - all reflect the way
women have been and still are used to underpin the public careers of
men. As Peter Wilenski remarked at the recent conference in Sydney of
EEO coordinators, it is necessary now to consider how to challenge and
change the ^culture' of a masculine-dominated bureaucratic
organisation. The Authority has taken up the challenges and is
committed to achieving an educational management structure which
promotes merit-, and is gender inclusive. Progress is slow but the
results are becoming visible in those aroas of the structure with
potential change agents.
Note: The assistance of Cathy Robertson in the preparation of this
paper is gratefully acknowledged.
WOMEW IN MANAGEMENT IN UNIONS
Di Foggo and Jennie George
The Australian Teachers' Federation (ATF) is an organisation of
over 167,000 members comprising the major government school teachers'
unions in all states and territories. Coverage includes in excess of
100,000 women members and tL.a level of membership of women in
affiliates is in the vicinity of 60 per cent.
Recent research into the representation of women in ATF and its
affiliates shows that the strength of women's membership is not
reflected in the decision-making bodies or office structures of their
unions (see Table 1). Women do not have power commensurate with
membership, nor equal power, nor equal participation in the
organisations which pur«ue their industrial and professional concerns.
Historical Aspects of Women in Unions
In understanding the level of representation of women in unions it
is useful to draw on some economic factors and historical perspectives
which liave, in part, determined the situation in which women now are
The structural changes occurring within the Australian economy,
particularly evident in the decline of the manufacturing sector and
the growth in the services sector, have significant effects in terms
of the composition of the workforce and union membership.
The growth of female employment in the services sector, in health,
education, banking, insurance, clerical and administrative areas is
reflected in the growing proportion of women unionists as a per-
centage of the total workforce that is unioni sed . In 1954 , the
composition of trade union membership was 81 per cent male and 19 per
cent female? by 1976, 70 per sent male, 30 per cent female and in
1983, 67 per cent male and 33 per cent female.
In the eight years to December 1983 new female union members made
up 73 per cent of the total increase in union membership and in that
same period women's membership rose by 16 per cent as against an
increase of ?..6 per cent in male membership (see Table 2).
However, the proportion of women workers who are actually members
of unions has remained relatively stable during that same period,
around the A6 per cent mark. As women comprise 77.13 per cent of the
part-time workforce it is highly likely that under-unionisation is
o curring in this area, which has traditionally proved difficult to
Since 1983 many unions in the public sector, for example, teacher
unions and state public service unions as well as a number of
significant ones in the private sector, for example .Australian bank
employees, the Miscellaneous Workers' Union and the Australian
insurance employees now have women as a majority of their membership.
But, witn the notable exception o; one or two unions, women do not
have anywhere near the proportion of membership either in the
decision-making bodies or office structures.
- \29 -
REPRESENTATION OF WOMEN ON AUSTRALIAN TEACHERS' FEDERATION
(as at June 1985)
H z r Z
H Z F Z
H Z F Z
H Z F Z
H Z F Z
HZ F Z
39 67.2 19 32.7
6 60 4 40
16 59.2 II 40.7
48 34.5 91 65.5
2 40 3 60
9 50 9 50
2 66.6 1 33.4
13 59.1 9 40.9
6 50 6 50
53 69 24 31
2 66.6 I 33.4
13 66.6 2 13.4
II 73.3 4 26.7
2 66.6 I 33.3
5 50 5 50
12 70.5 5 29.5
1 100 -
4 50 4 50
9 56.3 7 43.7
HZ F Z
HZ F Z
HZ F Z
HZ F Z
HZ F Z
HZ F Z
29 63 17 37
3 75 I 25
7 50 7 50
7 77.8 2 22.2
20 77 6 23
7 77.8 2 22.2
3 37.5 5 62.4
8 66.7 4 33.3
3 75 1 25
I 100 - -
12 70.5 5 29.5
3 SO 3 50
14 77.8 4 22.2
1 33.4 2 66.6
6 66.6 3 33.4
MEMBERSHIP CHANGES 1976 TO 1983
Gender 1976 1983 Variation ^Increase
COOO) COOO) COOO) %
Male 1956.7 2007.2 50T5 2.6
Female 843.3 978.0 134.7 16.0
Total 2800.0 2985.2 185.2 676
Male % of total increase 27 50.5
Female % :.f total increase 73 134.7
There is a paucity of research data available about women's
p irticipation in the union movement* While many will have their own
ideas on ^hy women have not chosen to participate or been successful
in achieving representation proportional to their membership, findings
of some of the available research provide some indicators of the
barriers to change.
In 1977 the Royal Commission on Human Relationships published a
report which quoted in part a statement from the Women's Electoral
Lobby which asserted :
While unions sometimes take up women's causes to ensure
equality for them, there are instances where women's benefits
are traded off against the events and where women's
complaints are not taken seriously.
The report went on to recommend forms of action by trade unions,
to increase the participation of women. It was argued that unions
should recognise women as an indispensable part of the workforce and
their needs should be considered. It added that trade uwions should
seek to ensure a better level of participation by women. They should
actively seek out women to be trained for union office and 8..ould
encourage them to stand for election. The Final Report of the i.oyal
Commission on Human Relationships urged the introduction of
affirmative action progrv'ims in unions *"o induce women to participate
actively in the making of ducisions that affect their working lives.
Given that this repcrt was released some eight years ago it is not
surprising that women should feel some chagrin and frustration because
the situation has changed only superficially since 1977,
In 1980 a Monash University team undertook a study of women in
seventeen blue and white collar unions in \^ictoria. They found that
the higher in the union hierarchy, the lower the percentage of female
representation, even in unions whose membership wae predominantly
female. Of the thirty-three fulltime paid petitions, women did not
occupy even one position, out the position was reversed among the
unpaid honorary positions where women occupied (ren of the thirty-five
From a Trade Union Training Authority (T'JTA) survey conducted in
1980 it was established that thero were approximately 2,376 fulltinie
positions in Australian unions, including appointed research and
industrial staff, Based on information collected from union and TUTA
sourcP3, it was estimated, though not conclusively, that overall womon
held only ]l,i ^er cent oi dll fulltime union officer positions (see
FULLTIME FEMALE OFFICERS, 1980
(Including appointed research and industrial staff)
State Sector Total Total % Female
Public Private Female Male and Female to all
M Q U
st.aListics indicate an
*omen >ri structures of the
Also in 1980
a study of trade
the link between
that the :
....hierarchies of trad«3 unions reflect the hierarchies in
employment. Women are accustomed to being at ♦-.he bottom of
the pile, behaving deferentially towards men and expecting
little or no advancement. This is bound to shape their
aspirations and expectations in trade union affairs.
The attitudes of women in the Hull study indicated that obstacles
to union involvement by women were of a practicd, institutionalised
and male domination nature. Some of the factors given in encouraging
participation included having union meetings held in work time,
simplifying union matters. Increasing the availability of information
and fewer home responsibilities (see Table 4).
1 >T ^
- 132 -
FACTORS WHICH 108 FEMALE RESPONDENTS FROM THE FIVE
TRADE UNION BRANCHES IN THE HULL AREA BELIEVED
WOULD ENCOURAGE PARTICIPATION IN UNION ACTIVITIES, 1980
Fewer home responsibil-
Meetings held in more
Giving UD other
Meetings held at a
Feeling more confident
Meetings held in work time
Going to meetings with
Make union matters easier
Mv hnnhAnH affreeinff^ to m6
being active in the union
Provide childcare facilit-
ies so I could come to
Knowing that women can ^e
as coDpeteiit as men in
Mj»*kef more information
available about how union
Male union members giving
me a chance to eir my
Organise more social
Having greater intere^'c
in union affairs
Running education course
Nothing would make it
Creating opportunities so
women could get together
and discuss matters of
interest to them
Source: Ccote» A. and Kellner, P. (1980) Wear This, Brother^ Women
Workers and Union Power.
An interesting and unfortunately common aspect of Stageman's work
is the difficulties faced by women union activists.
Because of their rarity, women whose heads emerge above the
crowd are swiftly burdened with responsibility, and they
often havG extra commitments (to women's meetings as well as
to their families), on top of all their regular union duties.
The higher up the ladder they go, the more isolated they
become and the tougher it gets to prove they can do the Job.
It is common for women who hold senior offices to find they
- 133 -
have no more time for their equal rights or women's advisory
committees. Some who get near the top, having
fought for most of their lives to 'make it' on men's terms,
get comfy as token women and lose sight of their siste'-s'
need for a helping hand. Some hold on to their commitments
but are driven in their isolation to degrees of paranoia and
over-caution. These problems will only diminish if the
support network grows stronger; if more women emerge in
senior positions; and if union hierarchies keep in much
closer touch with the grass roots.
In 1981 Kay Hargreave's book Women at Uork again pointed to the
under-representation of women in unions, showing thirty-two unions
where women members predominated and showing that they were not
adequately represented in the power structure. She further contrasted
the high level of -,nion membership among women with a lack of
knowledge and lack of positive lesponse regarding unions. She said in
her book that women activists in unions
...still encounter ditiiculties with sexism in the form of
sexist attitudes, structures that discourage wor^en's
involvement and issues that do not reflect the priorities for
women in the workforce.
In 1985 Beryl Ashe in a discussion paper, on Affirmcti^e Action
in Trade Onions outlined some reasons for the lack of involvement of
women in unions. The responses to the survey she distributed led her
to conclude that the following were major barriers to women becoming
involved in trade unions :
lack of confidence;
lack of interest;
negative attitudes of family members.
These barriers coincide with reasons elucidated in the few
In overcoming these barriers the union movement must address
itself not only to the practical barriers of involvement, such as
times of meetings and the provision of quality child c^.e, but also
the institutional and attitudinal barriers which have been referred
In recognising that capable women do not, for a range of reason^
choose to become actively involved in their unions it mush also be
recognised that current union structures do mitigate against women.
There are valid reasons for saying that unions as we know them in the
teacher labour movement are hierarchical, structuraUy and
procedurally formal and dominated by male colleagues. They are
certainly no place for the faint-hearted.
The problems associated with gaining power or participation in
decision-making bodies of unions are noL always because male
colleagues have planned it that way. The confidence, experience and
ability of women to fit other responsibilities into the time
involvement requires have precluded many women from participating
fully in the past. In 1977 a paper produced by the Working Women's
centre suggested that lack of confidence was a real barrier in women's
involvement in trade unions.
Given these factors, the principles of affirmative action are as
necesciary and relevant to the trade union movement as they are in the
workforce and education sectors generally. The difficult task of
implementing change has to be faced so as to ensure a union movement
which is truly representative of its membership.
While some women members of the ATF believe that the wheels of
progress do not move with enough haste there has been some progress
during the past decade and the issue of representation of women is one
which is permanently on the agendas of the ATF and its affiliates. It
is an issue however which is not always ...et with enthusiasm.
The ATF has recently formulated policy on affirmative action in
unions and established a women's action program • The direction of
efforts to increase the representation of women is throt^gh educative
programs aimed at encouraging increased participation by women,
although discussion still includes the merit of constitutional
requirements which ensure the presence of women in the decision-making
bodies of unions.
The 1985 ATF conference rejected proposed constitutional
amendments which would have ensured equal representation of women at
ATF conference and ATF delegations. The proposal tendered by the
South Audtraliar Institute of Teawhers, the only affiliate whose
constitution and practices embody equal representation, sought to
extend to ATF the right to insist under its rules that the annual
conference and delegations would bear a truer correspondence to the
rank and file membership of ATF.
Given the legijlative or educative option, ATF's affiliates have
chosen the educative one. This model for increasing the
representation of women operates at various levels within affiliates
but notably in the New South Wales Teachers' Federation (NSWTF). An
educative or organisational approach seeks to provide the
opportunities for women ^.o go through a process of consciousness
raising. The aim is to empower women to act in their own interests
and mobilise rank and file women members ao that their increased
awarenessi interest and confidence is translated into greater
commitment and participation in their union. Women's action groups
are established in each region and a women's contact person, whose
duties are outlined within th^ NSWTF constitution, exists at each
school. A proposal aimed at giving nine women unionists experience in
their union through assisting a union organiser for one term is to be
All teacher unions have either annual women's conferences, status
of women committees, elimination of sexism groups or activities aimed
at increasing women's participation in their vnion and developing
their abilities to take positions of responsibility.
- 135 -
The history of women's involvement in the union movement
highlights the fact that their struggles have been part of a never-
ending battle. At times women have emerged the winners, at other
times others fought the battle to its final success long after the
first skirmishes developed. The Australian Council of Trade Unions'
(ACTU) recent commitment to pursue a test case based on 'comparable
worth' is testimony to the lengthy campaign that has been waged to
achieve equal pay for women workers.
Through the operation of the Accord, the ACTU is placed in a
central role in terms of ongoing negotiation with the Federal Labor
Government. The ACHJ special unions conference on affirmative action
in 1984 decided that, in future discussion and negotiations around the
Accord, specific attention be given to the incorporation of ACTU
women's policy and the action program for women workers in the A-rcord,
and in the initiatives arising from the Accord.
The union movement is a powerful force for social change and women
need to ensure that their demands are incorporated into the mainstream
of debates and strategies in regard to this country's future economic
and social directions. That places an obligation on women to be
active participants in their unions and in the broader labour
movement. If women do not pursue their demands through their
professional and industrial organisations, it is certain that no one
else will take up the cudgels on their behalf.
WOMEN AS CANDIDATES F Q H EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTKATION:
A SECOND INTERPRETATION
There are two totally different types of 'true fact' in the
universe. They are both genuine fact: both are important to human
beings, and they can be, and very commonly are, confused. Type one
is the Immovable, absolute, ruthless and unarguable facts of the
universe. These facts are coldly impersonal and they flatly refuse to
make exceptions, being strictly inhuman and inhumane. The other type,
type two, is the set of truths-by-consensus. They are subject to
change, exceptions can be made and humane considerations can induce
changes in their application. They are human and humane. They are
subject to argument, appeal and pressure of opinion. With respect to
these facts individual opinion is a meaningful concept.
Educational administration both as a field of practice and as a
field of study has long operr»ted on the truth by consensus that
educational administration is an activity at which males are better
than females. This truth by consensus has been elevated to the status
of a fact of the universe, at least by those who dominated the study
and practice of the field, but it is increasingly a fact under
challenge. But as Frasher and Frasher (1980) have noted:
Research related to the gender factor in educational
administration has yielded an unusur"* phenomenon.
Individuals who have searched the literature in this field
will testify to the confusing, frequently contradictory,
research findings available. Perhaps as a result of this,
administrators in general do rjt expect to garner much of
practical value from the library.
In an earlier paper Briggs and OBrien concluded, after reviewing
the achievements and selected characteristics of candidates enrolled
in the two coursework awards offered by the graduate program in
educational administration at the Flinders University of South
the groups of men and women candidates, respectively, who
have enrolled have not shown any marked disparity with regard
to age at first enrolment, highest previous qualification,
retention in the Programme, awards obtained or grade p^int
average achieved. It is regrettable that more women iiave
not undertaken the courses of study reviewed here. There is
every indication that they would be just as successful in
them as their male colleagues.
(Briggs and OBrien, 1984)
Without in any way retracting from that previous conclusion this
paper re-examines those previous findingr and reinte;prets the
conclusion in the light of two theme8 drawn from the research
literature (over-achievement or-under-achievement of graduate students
and staff-student interaction in graduate programs).
The Flinders University Progra m In Education Administration
The educational administration program began at Flinders University in
1976. It has two full-time staff whose area of specialisation is
educational administration and it draws upon the services of staff in
other specialist fields, including part-time staff, to supplement the
teaching. In terms of full-time specialist staff, year of origin,
number of students and of graduates the program is neither the
largest, oldest nor most influential of the educational administration
degree ^nd diploma programs in Australian and New Zealand colleges and
universities (see Duignan and leather 198.S). Thus in many ways it may
be taken as representative of its kind.
Up to and including 1978, students could enrol either in the
Master of Educational Administration (M. Ed. Admin. ) or in the Diploma
in Educational Administration (Dip. Ed, Admin. ) program but since then
only master's degree candidates have been accepted. Students who have
special reasons for not being able to complete the full master's
degree program, such as overseas students who are recalled by their
government, or employees of the South Australian Education Department
or South Australian Department of Technical and Further Education who
are transferred to country service, may apply to change their
enrolment and to seek the award of the Dip. Ed. Admin, instead.
The master's degree requires two years of full-time study or its
part-time equivalent and comprises both coursework and an externally-
examined research project. The diploma program requires one year of
full-time study or its part-time equivalent and is completed by
coursework onlv. Students are admitted to the program on the basis of
their previous academic record regardless of gender and are required
to have completed at least two years of work experience.
The Education Administration Candidates 1976-84
This paper like the earlier one (Briggs and OBrien, 1984)
considers only those who were accepted as candidates for either award
in the years 1976-83 inclusive, while the number of M.Ed. Admin, and
Dip. Ed. Admin, graduates includes those who graduated up until May
1984. Though a further six master's and four diploma students
completed their program in the period May 1984-May 1985, they are not
considered here as the purpose of this paper is i reinterpretation of
some of the conclusions of the earlier paper.
In the period under discussion 100 males and 32 females were
admitted in the program. Of these students 27 had the South
Australian education department as their most recent employer at the
time of their first enrolment while a further 3 were employed by the
South Australian Catholic education system. Table 1 illustrates the
variety of backgrounds from which the program has drawn its
Of the 132 students who enrolled, 50 had obtained an award, either
tha M.Ed. Admin, or the Dip. Ed. Admin. , by May 1984. Tabie 2 shows the
highest previous qualification held by those students on admission to
the educational administration program. The most common previous
highest qualification was a university bachelor's degree, which waR
- 138 i"^^
held by 29 of the 50 students: qualifications such as the diploma in
education were not considered here*
Table 3 presents information concerning completed, continuing and
withdrawn candidates. Of the 132 students admitted to the program 50
had obtained an award in the period till May 1984, 54 had left the
program without obtaining an award in educational administration (in
some cases students had transferred to another award program, for
example the master of education or the doctor of philosophy programs)
and 26 were still enrolled*
In Table 4 are shown the grade point averages achieved by
candidates who had obtained either the M*Ed*Admin* or the
Dlp.Ed* Admin, award* In Interpreting these figures it should be borne
in mind that the program permits students to take up to one-quarter of
the required coursework from any other approved master's level degree
program either within the Flinders University or elsewhere*
These topics are usually reported in student records as 'status'
grades and they have been calculated as being equivalent to a Flinders
University 'non-graded pass' and weighted accordingly*
The mean age of entering the Flinders University educational
administration program of those candidates who obtained an awa^d was
36*1 years: for male graduates the mean age was 36.2 years and for
females it was 36*0 years*
I_n t er pr e t a t i on of Achievement and Selected Characteristics of
Briggs and OBrien (1984) interpreted the achievement and selected
characteristics of candidates in the educational administration
program from 1976-84 in the light of literature on women as candidates
for careers in educational administration* That original
interpretation is recapitulated here*
The small number of female candidates in the program reflected the
small number of women in administrative positions in the South
Australian education system* For example, in 1977, although 58 p r
cent of teachers (excluding pre-school teachers, hourly paid
instructors and teachers acting in principal education officer
positions but including school principals) employed by the South
Australian education department were female, only 23 per cent of the
promotion positions (those of principal, deputy principal and
secondary senior) were held by women* In 1984 57 per cent of the
teachers were female and 21 per cent of the promotion positions were
held by women (South Australian education department Women's Advisory
Unit, 1984)* The total number of males employed as teachers in July
1982 by the South Australian education department, according to its
Statistical Information Unit, was 6,ec4 K'hile 9,171 females were
The literature suggests a range of reasons i^or the low proportion
of administrative posts in education held by women and similar reasons
have been suggested for the limited number of women in top
administrative posts elsewhere* For the purpose of discussion these
reasons may be grouped as those dependir.s on the attitudes and actions
of others and those for which women are to some extent responsible.
An example of the first group is the claim that one of the most
serious problems fac9d by women in administration is that of 'blocked
promotion'. Cooper and Davidson (1983) suggest: 'For the vast
majority of women who are struggling for individual recognition and
achievement, the road up the executive ladder is not so easy'. Though
there is some evidence in the literature (Stockard 1979) that
acquaintance with a female administrator in education tends to
slightly increase approval of female administrators, if the blocked
promotion is caused by sheer prejudice there is little that women can
do about it - other, perhaps, than to adopt the tactics advocated oy
Saul Alinsky (1971).
The nature of organisational structures has been suggested by some
writers as constituting a major barrier to women. Aspects of such
structures include recruitment and promotion practices which favour
women displaying passive, compliant characteristics which are then
cited as justification for the unsuitability of women for
administration (Acker and van Houten 1974). Schmuck (1977) has
Men are the managers of public schools ... women face unique
deterrents to careers in administration, and traditional practices
govern the formal and informal processes of grooming, recruitment
and selection that have favoured white males.
Communication networks may exclude women from access to vital
information (Lloyd 1984) and socialisation structures may support
upwardly mobile males to the detriment of females (Marshall 1980).
Kanter (1977) has pointed out that a lone women in a hierarchy of male
administrators threatens the homogeneity which gives a sense of
security to the group member: several other researchers, for example
Cromie (1981), Jabes (1980) and Mai-Dalton and Sullivan (1981) have
shown that both male and female administrators tend to favour
colleagues of their own gender. As those at administrative levels are
likely to be less subject than others to scrutiny and control of their
actions, such homogeneity is seen as --educing members' uncertainty
about others' behaviour: a minority member might act unpredictably and
thus constitute a threat to the rest. Thus women are likely to be
placed either in positions where an established routine is to be
followed or in staff positions rather than in positions offering
possibilities for independent decision making (Kanter 1977). Attempts
by women to adapt to this situation by following male norms of
behaviour are likely to be punished or ignored as being unsuitable for
the group of which they are seen to represent tokens (Ortiz 1980).
The remedy for the circumstances described above is hard to
determine. Adkison (1981) in a review of research on women in school
administration, put the problem thus:
If, as Kanter maintains, the homogeneous management group
constrains woippn in order to minimise uncertainty, women's
increased participation in training programs and in administrative
roles should reduce uncertainty about their probable
behaviours ... I f , as Henley argues, women's participation is
limited to ensure their subordinate status, women's increased
efforts to expand their roles should produce increased
organisational efforts to restrict that participation.
Chapman (1975) after reviewing research on women in economics,
concluded that well-implemented anti-discrimination policies would
provide the only effective remedy and that it would be useless for
women to invest in training or other activities since it had not been
demonstrated that these would enhance their ear ing capacity. Adkison
(1981) went on to suggest that 'federal, state and local equal
employment opportunity legislation and affirmative action policies may
have had greater impact on women's aspirations than on institutions'.
It may be that the comparatively small number of women enrolling in
the graduate program reviewed here reflects women's awareness of this
situation but, as Wolf and Fligstein (1979) have suggested, although
steps si ould be taken to alter the behaviour and policies of employers
it is also important to encourage women to improve their
quali f ications .
Women's readiness to make the effort to achieve qualifications
which might be expected to improve their chances of becoming
administrators depends on their aspirations in this direction. Rossi
and Calderwood ( 1973) provided documentation that, systematically or
otherwise, women have been limited in their effort to achieve in, to
earn from, and to participate in higher education. But what emerges
from their book is an impression that women have co-operated in this
failure to achieve, perhaps because they have been insufficiently
motivated by the values of a male-oriented society or inadequately
socialised or, knowing these values, unable to bear the heavy costs of
commitment that males who run institutions have set or even that they
were unwilling to risk failure. Nieva and Gutek (1979) after
surveying the literature on female job aspirations and expectations,
claimed that no real sex differences existed ?n the importance
attached to intrinsic job factors but they dii suggest that women had
lower aspirations than did men:
What women want from a job tends to be shaped by what they expect
to receive, and what they expect tends to be shaped by what they
or others like them are receiving or have received in the past.
The realities of the present affect aspiration for the future.
This view was corroborated in studies reviewed by Adkison (1981^,
which linked low aspirations with sex role socialisation resulting
from society's expectations of women:
Sex typing of school administration combined with sex role
socialisation serves to discourage women from preparing for an
administrative career. Whilo many women prepare for and enter
careers in education, they are less likely than men to express a
desire to be school administrators ... Even women in administration
admit they were reluctant to seek their positions .. .Among
principals, women are less likely than men to aspire to positions
beyond the principalship.
Edson (1979) found that women are more likely to go into research
that into public school administration while Hesse-Biber (1985) found
from a survey of male and female perceptions of future career plans
1 ^: ^
that female respondents selected careers traditionally defined as
acceptable for women and expressed less confidence than their male
co-:nterparts that they would be successful in their work*
Adkison (1981) did report signs that more women were deciding to
prepare themselves for careers in educational administration. In the
late 1960s, 8 per cent of students in educational administration
programs affiliated wit? the University Council for Educational
Administration (UCEA) were women. By 1971-72 21 per cent of master's
degree graduates in educational administration were women, and by
1975-76 this figure had risen to 29 per cent. Stockard and Kempner
(1981) reviewed the enrolments in educational administration programs
in several western states in the United States and found that for the
period 1974-79 the figures for male and f emal e enrolments in
credentialling programs were fairly stable at 70 per cent Ktale and 30
per cent female. Interestingly the figures for non-credentialling
degree programs in th« same period were 56 per cent male and 43 per
cent female lending support to Edson's contention that women tend to
go into research rather than school administration.
The number of female master's graduates in educational
administration at The Flinders University for the period 1976-84
constituting 31 per cent of the total, is in accord with the above
figures. Females comprised 33 per cent of diplomates. Adkison
(1981) added that in the period 1971-76 women's share of doctorates
in educational administration rose from 6 per cent to 20 per cent.
In the period reported in this paper women represented 75 per cent of
the doctorates awarded in educational administration.
G/oss and Trask (1976) indicated that women are likely to spend a
longer time than men as teachers before achieving an administrative
position in education while Silver (1977) reported that women had
been teaching slightly longer than men before entering a graduate
program in educational administration. The mean age at the time of
entering The Flinders University program of those male and female
candidates respectively who completed a qualification was calculated
to see whether the women were on average older than their male
counterparts. It was found that the mean age of entrants in this
group was 36.1 years: for men it was 36.2 years and for women it was
36.0 years. Silver's (1977) typical' female Job candidate was about
35 years old and was enrolled in a doctoral program which she
expected to complete at the age of 36 or 37 years old. The mean age
of female entrants at Flinders University is comparable but the
candidates her-" reviewed were seeking a master's degree or a diploma
and not a doctorate. This may be explained by the fact that in
general Australian educational administrators are not expected to
hold any qualifications in educational administration and higher
degrees of any kind are rarely encountered in the teaching force. In
1983 members of the teaching force (as defined earlier) employed by
the South Austral ian education department included seven men and
three women with doctorates.
The highest previous qualification possessed by all candidates
who completed either the M.Ed. Admin, or the Dip. Ed. Admin, at Flinders
University was investigated to see whether or not a different pattern
emerged for the groups of males and females respectively. As shown
in Table 2 although there were more men than women, equal numbers
already had a master's or an honours bachelor's degree. There is
thut? a slight tendency for womjn as a group to have higher previous
qualifications than men but the numbers involved are too small for
this tendency to be regarded as important, A much larger proportion
of the men had university bachelor's pass degrees which represent the
median qualification in the ranking in Table 2.
As the literature discusses the job aspirations of women and
indicates that they need persistence in order to overcome barriers to
promotion Table 3 was constructed to show the numbers of men and
women respectively who had left the program, had obtained either the
M.Ed. Admin, or the Dip. Ed. Admin, or were continuing candidates. The
latter group comprised two students who had been granted an
intermission of candidacy and 26 whose studies were not yet completed
or who were awaiting the reports of external examiners on their
research project. As shown in Table 3 some 54 of the 132 students
who had enrolled in the program had left: the reasons for departure
included transfer to one of the other programs within the school or
university, removal from Adelaide, inadequate standards of work and
personal and/or work-related reasons. It cannot be claimed that the
figures in Table 3 constitute a clear measure of candidates'
aspirations or persistence. Whereas in the early years of the
program, that is, 1976 ~ 1978 inclusive, candidates had the option of
enrolling either as a master's degree or as a diploma candidate, in
later years this option has not been available. The decirion to
withdraw from the program or to opt for the lesser award might
reflect the pressure of external circumstances or limited academic
ability or a change of interests rather than low aspirations or low
persistence. Nevertheless, insofar as conclusions can be drawn from
the figures shown in Table 3, it is interesting to note that there is
no appreciable difference between those for men and those for women.
One reason which might account for the small number of women who
have achieved administrative positions in education could be that
they are, ' fact, less intrinsically able than men to perform the
requisite tasks. Although such a claim was commonly made in past
years it is rarely encountered in current, serious, literature.
Indeed, Frasher and Frasher (1979, 1980) cite details of research
studies which consistently show that in nearly every comparison of
actual administrative performance there were no gender differences or
women received higher ratings. Women ir some administrative posts
may be found to be ineffective because of lack of co-operation from
male colleagues or from exclusion from their networks (Adkison 1981).
It is not claimed that success in the educational administration
program at Flinders University is in itself an indicator or
administrative ability. It is, however, an indicator of academic
ability applied to issues related to administration. The grade point
average scores of male and female graduates and diplomats were
calculated, therefore, to ascertain whether females had higher or
lower scores than males (Table 4). A t-tesc analysis produced no
significant differences between the scores of male and of female
students. It should be noted that this calculation did not take into
account the research component of the master's degree which is
externally assessed on a pass/fail basis.
Briggs and OBrien concluded that, though fewer women than men
have enrolled in the educational administration program at Flinders
University, the groups of ipale and female candidates, respectively,
who have enrolled have not shown any marked disparity with regard to
age at first enrolmen: highest previous qualification achieved,
award obtained, retention in the program or grade point average
If, as some researchers have claimed, the fact that there are
comparatively few female educational administrators has adversely
affected education systems, it is regrettable that more women
have not undertaken the courses of study reviewed here. There is
every indication that they would be just as successful in them as
their male colleagues.
(Briggs and OBrien 1984)
The Conclusion Reinterpreted
Berelson, when he spoke about the 1045 findings about human
behaviour d rived from the study which he had co-directed with
Steiner, com^ ^essed the findings into three propositions (Berelson
1. Some do, some don't.
2 • The di f f erences aren ' t very great .
3. It's more complicated than that.
These three propositions might serve answers to the question:
^Do females perform as well as males in graduate programs in
educational administration?' They will serve as a starting point for
a reinterpretat ion of the Briggs and OBrien paper's conclusion.
In many ways the conclusion cited above is a le f t-handed
compliment. It can be claimed that it represented conclusions about
success and influence drawn t rom androcentric paradigms: Gatikell
(1983) and Shakeshaft and Nowell (1984) have pointed to the fact that
mariy of the dominant paradigms of status-attainment, administration
and organisatinal aspirations of men and women about care -rs in
administration and the conclusion may represent, therefore, onl/ part
of the truth.
Moreover, the data reported in the original paper are group data
and what holds for the group cannot validly be inferred to hold for
each member of the group. To infer thus would be to commi t the
fallacy of division.
In this section of the paper the conclusion originally drawn by
Briggs and OBrien is re-examined in the light of two themes drawn from
the literature. These themes are that o. over- and under-achievement
and that of staff-student interaction in graduate programs. As
acl\ievement is related to scaf f-student interaction it will be at
times difficult to make clear distinctions in this reinterpre' ition.
A question which arises in considering the achievement of males
and females in graduate programs is that of why so few women enrol.
The proportion of males to females reported for this program compares
- 144 -
with the proportions cited from overseas literature (for example
Stockard and Kempner 1981). Aitken (1982), however, had found that
those women who were well educated and who became voters or entered
the workforce between 1969 and 1979 are the most highly p ^iticised
group in the whole community. While not wishing to imply a
relationship between poli ticisation and enrolment in a graduate
program in educational administration it is permissible to ask whether
Aitken 's findings might not suggest thai the enrolment of women ought
not to be higher, given thet teachers may be seen as among the most
wtill educated groups in the community.
Various authors have commented on attrition and retentior. rates at
colleges and universities. Sheldrake (1^76) in a study of why
students who had enrolled at Flinders University in the period 1966 -
1975 left the University without completing their degree course, found
the part-time students were more likely to withdraw than full-time
ones, whether this was to avoid failure or for other reasons. He
found also that men were slightly less likely to withdraw from courses
than women and that women were more likely to have withdrawn to avoid
failure or for other personal reasons but that the differences were
not statistically significant. Other reasons cited for withdrawal
were ill-health, too-hard work, removal elsewhere or deferral and
failure to re-enrol. Sheldrake (1976) concluded that his figures
^provide a slight, but tantalising insight into the reasons that
studente are prepared to offer for withdrawal; they hardly explain why
so many ^successful' students decide to leave university'. Though
Sheldrake's study predated the beginning of the educational
administration program, anecdotal evidence gathered during the last
nine years suggests that those studente who withdrew from the program
shared the same reasons as those in Sheldrake's study, but other
reasons may apply, particularly in a graduate program. Solomon (1976)
has suggested that women are less likely to go into debt to finance a
graduate education that are men while Berg and Ferber (1983) have
claimed that women are more likely than men to receive moral and other
support from their parents and their partners. Epstein (1973) claimed
that women who withdraw are more likely to be met by sympathy,
understanding and affection than are men and Hoffman (1974) has said
that they are more likely to hs. e options available to them ». men
Though no appreciable differences were found in the figures
presented in Table 3 concerning withdrawal and retention, insofar as
conclusions can l> drawn it would be wrong to infer that the same sets
■)f pressures operated on the two groups of students. It could be
argued that factors encouraging persistence in a graduate program
operate in favour of women, if one accepts the implications of the
research literature cited above. It is interesting to note, for
example, that no feniale student has withdrawn from the prograr because
of marital breakdown whereas tl is reason has been cited by several
males (the program of one female student was adversely affected by the
trauma surrounding a divorce but the marital breakdown had preceded
enrolment in the progran,).
The question of enrolment, attrition and retention as an indicator
of o\3r- or under-achievement by males and females enrolled in the
program is thus problematical.
- 145 -
other factors suggest that the picture is not clear cut. It is
strongly suggested in the literature that the success or failure of
female students in graduate programs is associatefl with such issues as
role models and interaction with staff. Astin and Kent (1983)
reported positive associations between self esteem and knowing at
least one staff member personally, while Tidball (1976) noted that
faculty members tend to be supportive of students of their own gender,
a view supported by others, for example, Jabes (1989) and Stevens and
DeNisi (1980). Estler (1975), Schmuck (1975) and Weber, Feldman and
Poling (1980) noted respondents felt that the absence of role models
dampened women's aspirations, while Denmark (1980), from a study of
students in psychology doctoral programs, concluded that productivity
was related to same gender supervisors.
In the light of such findings it is pertinent to consider Briggs
and OBrien's original conclusion in the light of certain
characteristics of the program and its staff. There are two full-time
staff members, both of whom cr«» similarly qualified in academic terms
(both possess the doctorc\te). For most of the period under
discussion, 1976-84, each has occupied highly visible administrative
positions within th? school of education and the university. The
female staff member has served as program co-ordinator (1976-77 and
1980-82) vice-chai rpersun of the school (1977-78) and chairperson
(1983 to date). She was also a successful school principal for a
number of years and may thus be d- 3m&d to be a successful role model
for women graduate students in educational adminlsti ^ition. In the
gender composition of its full-time staff, the Flinders University
educational administration program may thus be unique among Australian
and New Zealand programs, but the effect of this on students'
achievement is difficult to discern. For example, though there is a
slight tendency for female studencs in the M.Ed. Admin, to be
supervised by the female staff mei;iber (five of the nine M.Ed. Admin,
women graduates have been so supervised) it is impossible to ascribe
this to same sexhomophily rather than, rja/, to concern for the subject
specialisation of the staff.
It is difficult to aetermine whut effect the gender of the full-
time staff members had on the achievement of the male and female
stvdents enrolled in the program.
Feldman (1974) and Hitchman (1976) have shown that in American and
Canadian graduate programs women tend to receive better grades than
men. One possible explanation of this (Adler 1976) is that th:.ii could
be a function of the greater self selection of women into graduate
studies, which would lead to more qualified women students. It was
not found that, for the groups of male and female students
respectively, there were appreciable differences in the grade point
average scores (see Table 4) but a slight tendency was found for women
as a group to havo higher previous qualifications than men as a group
(see Table 2) .
From the overseas evidence, it could be concluded that womer as a
group in the Flinders University educational administration program
might be under achieving. It is interesting to refer to a study by
Stockard and Wood (1984) in which they examined the achievements of
high school graduates. They noted that, although the highest
achieving females often have lower average ability test scores than
the highest achieving males, thid results not from the under
achievement of the brightest females but from the fact that females
with a wide range of ability levels receive good grades and on}.^ the
very brightest males high grades* In this context, it is perhaps
pertinent to note Angrist's and Almquist's (1975) comment on female
The student who knows the material and gives tangible eviderce of
her brightness to faculty members will reap a harvest. She will
find professors interested in her ideasi eager to answer
questions, ready to direct her to further information, and above
all, willing to get to know her.
This again raises the issue of staff-student interaction ana its
effect on achievement. While it is conceded that it may be exceeding
permissible limits to generalise from undergraduate and high school
research to a graduate program, the question does arise whether or not
the reported grade point average scores represent something other than
mastery of the content matter, for example the operation of a
^Pygmalion effect' (Rosenvhal and Jacobson 1968).
In connection with the grade point average score? which reflect
grades achieved in the coursework component only of the degree and
diploma program, it is pertinent to comment that the dominant form of
asbignment on which these grades were based ia the essay. It has been
demonstraLed that female students show less growth in methematical and
quantitative skills than do their male colleagues and that females are
advantaged in essay type questions (Hesse-Biber 1985; Stockard and
Wood 1984) even in such rreas as Physics where differences in tested
performance are well known (Clay 1982, 1983; Kelly 1981). If such
differences hold in graduate programs in educational administration,
do the grade point average scores prasent a true picture of
achievement - whatever that is?
Discussion and Conclusion
Even a cursory examination of the research literature suggests
that the original conclusion of Briggs and OBrien that females do as
well as males in graduate programs in educational administration
represents only one layer of the overall truth. The original
conclusion wac based on d::':a about groups of students and was
sufficient insofar as it went, that is, that there were no marked
disparities between the two groups on certain selected variables and
that, based on this finding, females would be just as successful in
the program as their male colleagues. The conclusion was insufficient
in that it did not add ^as a group'.
It would be wrong to infer anything from the data and the
conclusion about the success of individuals. Neither would it be
proper to infer from the data and conclusions that women in
educational administration are 'an underachieving group' (Byrne 1978)
or an over-achieving group either for that matter.
It is apparent from the literature on males and females as
graduate students that achievement is related to a number of factors
such as the form of assessment used, partner and parental support.
- 147 -
willingness to go into debt to finance graduate studies, the degree of
sympathy and support available and the impression given to faculty
members by ^bright' students. Without a knowledge of how these
factors and others operate, to conclude that one group of students
would do as well as another becomes a non-conclusion.
Other unknowns f ur ther contaminate the conclusion. Students are
selected on the basis of previous academic record and gender is not
considered either for admission purposes or in planning program
structure. It is possible that this procedure itself discriminates
against one or another group of students. Freeman (1975) would claim,
for example, that an academic program which neither encourages nor
di scour ages students of either gender is irherently discriminatory
against women because it fails to take into account the
differentiating external environment? from which male and female
students come, a viewpoint also held by Astin (1979). But Berg and
Ferber (1983) have demonstrated the disadvantages from which males
suffer in educatl'^n, claiming that there exists a parallel between the
position of female students in the sciences and male students in
education in terms of lesser achievenient .
The notion that it was 'regrettable thai more women have not
undertaken the courses of study reviewed here' (Briggs and OBrien
1984) represents perhaps both an androcentric view of success and a
notion of group parity, that is, that a group represented among
graduate students by some variant of that percentage. This is a quota
system, but group parity is not individual equality.
It becomes apparent then that the data considered and the
conclusion drawn in the original paper represent only one layer of
truth. There are different layers to the overall truti; cf ths
situation concerning the achievement of male and female students in
graduate programs in educational administration and to reject any
interpretation would be to dismiss important data that could aid in
understanding the issues involved. The search for a causal mechanism
which explains achievement is complicated by the fact that the
viewpoint of the correspondent may dictate the alternate explanation
accepted. This however, helps to emphasise the complexity of the
situation and ensures that there is less chance that the phenomenon
will be oversimplified.
This paper began by noting that educational administration has
long operated on a truth-by-consensus that males were better than
females at the activity of educational administration. This truth is
now under attack. In the me an ti me, a no ther truth-by-consensus is
emerging: that with regard to the position of women in educational
admini strati on ^we know what the position is' . With regard to the
matters covered in this paper, that is the achievement of women as
candidates for awards in educational administration, the conclusion
dissents from this truth. As Frasher and Frasher (1980) have noted,
the evidence on the gender factor in educational administration is
both confusing and frequ3nt}y contradictory and there are many things
not known. For example, it is not known whether colleges and
- 148 -
universities should develop special programs for women who wish to
become educational administrators and provide useful knowledge and
skills or, instead, segregate them, mark them as deficient and convey
misinformation. In ouch a situation the gratification of having an
opinion should be Jelayed.
It is expected of scholars that they should accept but little and
then only that little which has withstood the test of critical
opinion. Handlin (1971) wrote: 'there can be no scholarly discussion
of any brcader matter until there is agreement - total, unqualified,
and unconoitional - on the ineluctable and binding quality of the
data". Until such data become available, built on good, careful,
reasonably agnostic observation (as opposed to experi mental
manipulation. Burton 1979), to suggest policy options concerning ways
of improving the position of women as can di dates for awards i n
educational administration would be (to use Oliver Wendell Holmes'
words about the activities of lawyers) to spend time 'shovelling
smoke'. At the moment the only proper answer which can be given to
the question whether or not men and women (individually or as groups)
perform in a comparable manner in graduate programs in educational
administration is :
I • Some do , some don ' t .
2. The differences aren't very great.
3. It's more complicated than that .
- 149 -
LAST EMPLOYER, AT TIME OF ENROLMENT, OF CANDIDATES WHO COMPLETED
South Australian education
South Australian department of
technical and further education 3
South Australian Catholic
education system 2
College of advanced education 2
Church organisation 1
Overseas government service or
instruirantali ty 1
Overseas college university 1
HIGHEST PREVIOUS QUALIFICATION OF ALL CANDIDATES
WHO OBTAINED AN AWARD
Honours bachelor ' s degree
University bachelor's degree
Non-university bachelor's degree
- 150 -
COMPLETED, CONTINUING AND WITHDRAWN CANDIDATES
Candidates ever enrolled 100
Total number who have obtained
an award 34
Candidates who completed the
Master's degree 20
Candidates who completed the Diploma 14
Candidates still enrolled or
awaiting results 20
Candidates on intermission 2
Candidates who have left the program 44
GRADE POINT AVERAGES ACHIEVED BY CANDIDATES
Grade Point Average
Male Female All
Candidates who obtained an award 1.9 2.08 1.99
Candidates who obtained the
Master's degree 1.86 1.68 1.80
Candidates who obtained the
Diploma 2.0'' 2.59 2.56
An A Grade = 3
A B Grade = 2
A C Grade = 1
A non-graded pass = 1
A grade obtained in a program other than the
Flinders University ed. admin. program = 1
- 151 J^^4
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- 155 -
LESSONS FROM THE AFFIRMATIVE ACTION PILOT PROGRAM
Just over a year ago in July 1984 the Australian Colloge of
Education sponsored its second Women in Educational Mans^ement
conference in Armidale. That conference proved a watershed in at
least two respects.
For a number of Mgher education institutions, the data collection
on the position of females within their institutions and the follow-up
activities afte" the conference constituted a significant catalyst.
The timing was opportune because the Green Paper on 1984 Affirmc*tive
Action for Women has just been tabled in Parliament and on 2 July the
government's affirmative action pilot program commenced with the
participation of twenty-eight of AustraliaCs major private sector
employers and three higher education institutions. Over 200,000
employees were involved ia the pilot program.
The second watershed was a personal one. Shortly after the
Armidale Conference I left my academic position at the Western
Australian Institute of Technology to work as a consultar>t with the
Office of the Status of WomenCs Affirmative Action Resource Unit.
This meant moving to Canberra with my fa*;iily and spending the best
part of a year commuting between Canberra, Adelaide and Brisbane to
meet with program participants as we 11 as attending mee^.ngs and
seminars in Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia.
This paper reviews the pilot program and draws out the lessons
that have been learned through the twelve months and their
implications for the education sector. The pilot has just finished
and the Affirmative Action Resource Unit (AARU) is in the process of
de s t r uc t i ng ' , that is, staff are returning to their previous
The Affirmative Action Pilot Program
In 1984 the government set up a working party to review the pilot
and to make recommendations to the government cn the form and content
of affir-native action legislation. All parties affected by such
legislation are represented on the working party - employers, trade
unions, education institutions, women, relevant Ministers and a member
of the Opposition. During the pilot the government and the
participants learned a great deal about the difficulties and successes
of introducing affirmative action. The participants presented a
considerable amount of information to the working party at a case
study day in April 1985 and have completed a detailed questionnaire at
the conclusion of th pilot. The AARU conducted public meetings in
all capital cities and have been involved in numerous speak i ng
engagements. Enormous quantities of affirmative action materials have
been prepared, printed and distributed. In idit^'on to these
activities, press advertisements invited interested individuals c'^nd
groups to make submissions on affirmative action legislation
- 156 -
proposals. The quality and quantity of submissio j received was
commendable. The working party has already met four times and will
meet several more times to prepire its recommendations to the
It might be appropriate in light of some of the papers and
discussions at this conference to take a little time to clarify the
term 'affirmative action'. It seems tnat some people regard
affirmative action as synonymous with positive discrimination or
quotas. This is not the Commonwealth's position. The policy
discussion paper on Affirmative Action for Uoinen (Green Paper)
published in 1984 states:
The Government defines Affirmative Action as a systematic
means, determined by the employer in consultation with senior
management, employees and unions, of achieving equal
employment opportunity (EEO) for women. Affirmative Action
is compatible with appointment and promotion c> the basis of
the principle of merit, skills and qualifications.
As the Prime Minister said in his tabling speech 'put quite simply,
EEO is our objective and affirmative action is the way to achieve it.'
The Government has never supported the introduction of quotas but
has encouraged the development of strategies, goals and numerical
targets consistent with appointment by merit. This of course begs the
question 'What Is merit?' Warren Louden has described how the Western
Australian education department, as part of its affirmative action
program, has reviewed merit to incorporate a range of skills,
abilities and qualifications more often identified by and in women.
Although the pace of change may be less . apid in the short term
than jf quotas were introduced the Commonwealth believes its merit-
based approach is both more achievable, realistic and sustainable.
There aro some obvious 'traps' attached to quotas which must be
avoided. For instance the appointment of the second best and not the
best person for the job has long term community costs. Although it
may be argued that employment equity is achieved by quotas both the
efficiency o'' employment and the quality of serv?ce delivery is
reduced. Government employment is not an enr" in itself but the means
to an end - the delivery of goods and services to the community.
Equal employment opportunity is a means to improve that delivery.
However, the definition of positive discrimination is itself not
an easy one. It is known that women begin in the system as well or
better qualified than men but as a result of women s experiences
within the system (what Shirley Sampson called 'their apprenticeship')
they fail to gain experiences valued by the system. An affirmative
action program would involve a range of strategies designed to
compensate and overcome this deficiency. It may mean that the staff
training and development budget gets turned on its head for a period
of time while resources are allocated to meet the systems most
pressing needs, that of its women staff. But is an 80 per cent staff
training and development expenditure on women (67 per cent)
discriminating against men? It is argued that this is simply one
affirmative action strategy designed to achieve EEO. Where
differences of opinion exist is in the area of appointment. The
ER?C J 70
Commonwealth would argue against the bypassing of the beso person for
a job and the appointment of the second, third or fourth best person
who are women; that is, providing both the processes of selection and
the criteria used in selection are indeed appropriate for the position
and free from sex bias.
It should be remembered that if there are special reasons why, in
the short term, it is appropriate for only a woman to be employed in a
certain position - a so called sex-tagged position - thin application
can * e made for an exemption under the Sex Discrimination Act and tiie
advertisement and recruitment can proceed as such.
Lessons from the Pilot
The pilot program has been enormously successful and has provided
four ^lessons' to explore.
Introduce comprehensive plan
Firstly, any process of change must be both systematic and
comprehensive. Fragmented, one-off changes will certainly be
marginalised and eventually swamped. It recommends that participants
proceed through a series of eight steps. The pilot indicated that
often the skipping of one step cr its undertaking in a token form
meant that the introduction of atfirmative action was more easily
slowed, sidetracked or compromised. Since an affirmative action
program concentrates on the elimination of systemic discrimination, it
requires a comprehensive, system-wide introduction. Changes in
selection procedures need to be complemented by changes in job design,
access to training and opportunities for promotion. Consultation with
women and unions proved a vital though difficult step for many
participants. The importance of securing and utilising management
commitment to EEO has been highlighted as a major factor in ensuring
that the change program is integrated into all activities and is taken
seriously by the organisation. The Commonwealth program's eight steps
are a useful guide for introducing affirmative action and are set out
in detail in the implementation manual.
Accelerate rate of social change
Secondly, the pilot program has shown that it is possible to
accelerate the rate of social change. The majority of the pilot
participants had little or no involvement with affirmative action or
EEO activities prior to July 1984. Within a year almost all had
introduced significant and lasting changes in the way they advertised
for and selected applicants, in training and promotional opportunities
for women and in their collection of data on the position of women
within their workforce. Many of these changes are reported in the
prof ^ss report issued by the AARU in May 1985. Once the private
seccor recognised the benefits of affirmative action they acted
quickly and decisively to secure them. These participants have called
upon the education sector to accelerate its response rate in the same
- 158 -
Recruit yomen for non-traditional jobs
Thirdly, many pilot participants reported great difficulty in
recruiting women and girls to work in non-traditional jobs. The AARU
produced a paper for employers to assist them when employing female
apprentices for the first time and offered consultancy support to
three South Australian companies Santos, Simpsons and Mitsubishi. All
of these sought females for engineering and apprenticeship positions
but when only 5 females have graduated with bachelors of Engineering
in the past two years from South Australia then their difficulties in
securing a female engineer are not surprising. Only 8 per cent of
engineer graduates are female yet this is almost twice the figure it
was five or ten years ago. When participants advertised
apprenticeships for females and males the/ received few or no female
applicants. Some went to schools and technical and further education
colleges to speak to classes in the hope of securing greater numbers
oi* female applicants, again with litv^le success. Participants nave
called on schools and tertiary institutions to do more. The all too
familiar cyclical argument of schools pointing the finger at employers
who do not provide opportunities for girls; and employers blaming
schools for not preparing girls adequately in terms of pre-requis i tes
and attitudes now has an opportunity to be broken. Many employers are
for the first time actively seeking girls to fill non-traditional
jobs. The demand is there - affirmative action legislation will only
serve to strengthen this. Girls completing years 10 and 12 in 1985
will be the target for employers and institutions seeking females in
non-traditional jobs and courses. Success in these areas requires
more than just preparation through pre-requisites ; it requires an
understanding of women's position in the workforce and a number of
social skills, including those needed to deal effectively with the
sexual harrassment prevalent in these araas. '"^irls also need some
understanding of the values of networking and perhaps a greater sense
of confidence and determination to succeed.
Next year's senior classes will have even wider opportunities.
Economists have shown that in Australia's sex segregated labour
market, females working in non-traditional areas earn, on average, a
greater percentage of the male wage than females concentrated in the
predominantly female occupations. But females often have a hard row
to hoe in these non-traditional areas. The pilot program and future
affirmative action legislation will certainly make the trip a little
less harrowing. Just as changes in an organisation must be
comprehensive so too must changes in labour market programs be
integrated with educational programs to ensure one does not frustrate
the progress of the other.
Develop education/employment interface
Some semployers have actively sought female applicants through
school visits. The development of the education/employment or
schoo 1 /employer interface is the fourth aspect flowing from the pilot
experience. Perceptions of students and in particu3ar those of the
parents, lag behind changes in employment patterns. The demand for
teaching places after the teacher *boom' had ended was a good example
of this. Studies show girls in 1985 still expect to be secretaries,
sales assistants, teachers, nurses and clerks. Neither schools nor
employers can change these attitudes and perceptions single handedly.
- 159 -
The more creative, aggressive use of interface activities, such as
work experience placements for girls in non~tradi tional Jobs, the
exposure of female students to role models employed in non~traditional
jobs, the involvement of major EEO employers with careers counsellors,
and special parents programs could a) 1 be used to accelerate attitude
change. This role of the employer /school interface is not a new
discovery but what is new is the new climate among employers created
by the pilot and perhaps a new energy generated by imminent
It is important that in the next few months a number of
possibilities for facilitating co-operative arrangements between
employers and the education sector are explored which will complement
affirmative action legislation.
In conclusion the pilot program has shown that it is possible to
accelerate the process of labour market change but co do so requires
the commitment of senior management and of corporate resources to
introduce a comprehensive and systematic program. While the pilot has
pointed out the deficiencies in the education and training of women
and girls it has also produced a much improved climate for co-
operative efforts by employers and the education sector in seeking a
solution. If the benefits of the co-operative policy development
between employers and the Office of the Status of Women in the pilot
is any indication of the unfolding possibilities then the future is
indeed much brighter than thought possible one year ago at the 1984
conference on women in higher education management.
- 160 -
GETTING PAST ^SHOCK-HORROR' t STAGES IN THE ACCEPTANCE
OF EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY IN An ORGANISATION
The New South Wales government has since 1980 been impleipsnting a
program of affirmative action under Part IXA of the Anti-Discrimination
Act. The Office of the Director of Equal Opportunity in Public
Employment is charged with this work. As senior adviser in the office
since 1981 and more recently as assistant director since 1984 I have had
a fair amount of experience in seeing organisations and individuals
react to the impact of this legislation.
This paper outlines a paradigm of common stages that people and
ir^titutions go through as they draw up an equal employment
opportunity management plan and then begin to take action to achieve
the objectives set forth in the plan. In order to understand these
stages one needs to know that Part IXA provides for institutions to
develop a statistical analysis of their workforce by means of a
confidential questionnaire, a critical review of the personnel
practices within the organisation and a set of strategies for change.
These are clearly set forth with objectives, specific actions to be
taken with responsibility for those actions allocated to named
individual officers, some procedure for evaluation of the strategies
and a target date for completion.
Commonly each organisation designates, or preferably appoints
after external advertisement, an equal e: ployment opportunity (EEO)
coordinator to carry out this task and designates a very senior
officer -'n the organisation to supervise the work and to lend support
to the enterprise on an institutional basis. By now, of course, the
larger government organisations in New South Wales have not only an
EEO officer but an EEO unit of up to fifteen officers with specialised
functions, such as liaison officer on behalf of Aboriginal employees,
staff development officer on EEO issues and research officer to
establish and monitor statistical records. Thus the work of
implementing EEO strategies in the organisation is well and truly an
operating part of its life, although it would be an exaggeration to
bay that these developments have occurred without a good dual of
external prodding from the Office and occasionally some forceful
representations from the Minister responsible as well.
In tne process, one has had the occasion to see how individuals
and groups react to the ac tual isation of the law in the creation of
jobs to carry out EEO duties, the redirection of r3Sources toward EEO
implementation and changes to procedures in response to EEO
ini tiati^ -^s . Obviously there is considerable variation in these
reactions. The people who are themjelves the members of the 'target
groups' of the legislation - currently, women, migrants of non-
English-speaking background, Aborigines, and people with physical
disabilities - would hive a different set of reactions to people not
members of these (overlapping) categories. The paradigm outlined here
generally speaking is descriptive of members of the majority culture -
that is, men of English-speaking background accustomed to the culture
of organisations as they were prior to the introduction of EEO policy.
But with some variations the paradigm may also well apply to target
group members who feel ambivalent about their inclusion in what ic, an
- 161 -174
intervention that brings shock waves of change that are not always
•?xperienced as welcome.
The first stage is one of shock, horror and disbelief. This is
the stage in which individuals query the legitimacy of the enterprise
at a fundamental level. Why has the government passed such
legislation? Is it not a complete waste of the taxpayers' dollar?
What is it these women want anyway? Often people are unaware that in
New South Wales women are only one of the target groups of the
legislation. During this stage, individuals (and organisations in a
corporate sense) are dismayed at having been brought under the
legislation, resent and fear its impact and are full of misgivings,
often ^ased on serious misinformation. One government department was
swept by rumours in the first year of the legislation (from 1980 to
1981) that the government policy would result in the sacking of half
of the male professional staff and the hiring of women in their place
to reach a 50:50 ratio. They learned with relief that the office
required numerical or percentage targets that were incremental and
short-term, for example, from zero representation of women in a given
job classification to two women or 5 per cent in a two-year period,
via selection on a merit basis^.
The se^^ond stage is one of critical inquiry. In this stage people
have got over their shock and have begun to inform themselves cf the
actual requirements of tho legislation, the office end how the
legislation will affect them and their interests. The preparation cf
the EEO management plan often brings people from stage one to stage
two by virtue of their being included in the work, whether this
involves filling out thn questionnaire, participation on a working
party to review personnel practices, or selection to serve on an
advisory committee that assists the EEO coordinator in preparing the
data for the final report. Others move to the stage of critical
inquiry by virtue of hearing an EEO talk that strikas them as
convincing or as the result of a personal experience - for example,
the arguments of a daughter at the family dinner table.
The third stage in the paradigm is the action phase. This occurs
when an organ is-ition actually begins to move, to take actions as
directed by the EEO management plan, and to ai f ect thereby the working
life cf ths organisation. For example, the head of the organisation
(a secretary a department or the principal of a college of advanced
education) issues a directive that no one can serve after a specified
date on a selection committee without having been through a course on
selection techniques. Alternatively, the organisation spts up an
internal grievance mechanism and invites applications from staff
members to be trained as grievance officers on EEO matters. Any
visible decision that changes previous procedures and makes new
1. Ziller Alison, 'Defining Merit' a keynote address at a conference
27 September 1985, available from the Office of tne Director of Equal
Opportunity in Public Employment, 8-18 Bent Street, Sydney, NSW 2000
- 162 -
requirements upon staff members initiates this phase, which is
characterised by the fact that EEO policy has begun to bite. It moves
from being an idea or a policy in the abstract to being an entity that
affects the working life of members of the organisation.
Needless to say, stage three is immediately followed by stage four
which is reaction or backlash. This is when the opp .,ents of the EEO
policy come out of the woodwork and actively oppose the new
procedures. Alternatively, they can begin to white-ant the new
policy more surreptitiously, via campaigns of rumours about the EEO
officer, and (in more blatant instances) via intensification of sexual
and racial harassment aimed toward those they perceive will be
benefiting from the new regime of EEO if it is allowed to prevail.
In discussions of this paradigmn it has been put to me that it is
difficult t(. distinguish betwf3n stage one and stage four, that is,
between shock, horror and disbelief, and backlash. But the
distinction I am making here is between the attitudes and reactions
prevailing before a program takes effect and those aroused since the
program's effects have become visible in the workplace. (In an unkind
but telling throwaway line Dr Peter Wilenski has said that Australia
is the only country in the Western world where you can have oacklash
without reform ! )
Finally stage five I term ownership and innovation. In th:.s stage
individuals have gone beyond their reactions of anger and disbelief or
resentment and have come to see that EEO has the potential for
improving the organisation overall. The classic instance here is the
head of organisation who realises that the collection of statistics
for EEO purposes will represent a major database for other management
planning. Fiom seeing the EEO policy as an unwarranted intrusion upon
his or her autonomy as a senior executive, he or she moves to seeing
it as a tool by which he or she can have a better grasp on the
workings of the organisation.
In the ownership and innovation stage, people understand EEO
issues and policies sufficiently to have digested the implications and
to have begun thinking for themselves about what kinds of initiatives
can be brought in as part of an EEO plan This stage can and ideally
should occur at all levels of an organisation. Trade union members
and officials be£^'n to see the benefits of removing discriminatory
award provisions which deny benefits unfairly to some categories of
workers. An example of an EEO initiative that brings extra benefits
to workers is the introduction of English language classes on the job.
The same argument applies to the introduction of cnildcar^ as an
In elaborating this paradigm there has been a deliberate move oack
and forth between characterising individuals and characterising
organisations. This is considered accurate, in that the process of
change must be undergone by individuals in an organisation, and also
by the organisation itself as a kind of organism with a shared culture
and history. The^j^rocess needs to occur at both levels for EEO
ultimately to succ'^ed^
The paper has focused upon attitudinal change, which is or course
only one aspect of the total process. It is arguable that behavioural
change must proceed attitudinal change and often in an EEO program
thi3 is the case: that is, the action phase of an EEO program requires
chan.^ed behaviours in the workplace. Only later does the behaviour
become voluntary rather than a form of lip-service.
In the long run however a healthy EEO program must get to stage
five to flourish. This may seem a utopian objective in the light of
the public outcry that has greeted the announcement of federal
affirmative action legislation. However the New South Wales
experience with affirmative action gives ground for optimism. That
some individuals and organisations - however small in number - have
passed from shock-horror to ownership and innovation is a piece of
evidence that this process can occur and will over time.
When this paradigm was discussed in Queensland some months a^o the
question was put from the floor about what steps could be taken to get
to the shock-horror stage. Perhaps in Queensland that stage is
currently about to be reached. New South Wales is further down the
track. Good advice to people seeking to make use of the paradigm is
to bear it in mind and to use considerable energy and patience in
persuading people to mova from shock-horror to critical inquiry. With
any luck a certain percentage of people affected by an EEO program -
and of course the members of target groups who will stand to benefit
directly from the program - will move directly from stage two to stage
five and act as catalysts within the organisation. Others will
inevitably move at their own pace through the stages and some will
remain stuck at backlash forever. The role of EEO officers and those
sympathetic to their work is to shepherd people skillfully th'^ough the
stages and to make sure that the EEO program proceeds in an orderly
and efficient manner. There is no remedy for the drama occasioned by
rapid social change. But the countervailing force of education is a
powerful agent in ensuring that the objectives of EEO policy are met
rather than obstructed.
- 164 -
This paper presents comments and reflections on the activities and
interests of the past three days rather than a conference evaluation.
South Australian colleagues have contributed to the paper in their
usual supportive and collaborative way«
The conference ranged over a smorgasbord of issues from which a
few have been selected for discussion, beginning by looking at the
threo aims of the conference.
The Current Position
The first aim was that participants should gain a clear picture of
the current position of women in management in primary and secondary
It became obvious at the 1983 Australian College of Education
conference in Melbourne that there was a need to look more closely at
the various sections of education separately, hence the 1984
conference at Armidale concentrating on women in higher education
management in Australia and this 1985 conference concentrating on
women in management at primary and secondary levels.
Through the research of Dr Shirley Sampcon and Dr Judith Chapman
and the papers presented over the last three days from each state* the
picture has become clearer and many concerns and perceptions of the
^state of play' have been confirmed by this sharing of information.
The picture is not rosy - it was not expected to be. With only 23 per
cent of women in principal positions there is a long way to go.
Clearly much remains to be done. Changes are happening but women must
keep using their skills and commitment to find new and creative ways
of chan'^ing the overall picture. This is beginning to happen and the
successful strategies discussed at this conference show the debate is
entering a new phase.
A National Network
The second conference aim was to make and renew contacts.
Women at this conference have indicated they now feel secure as
part of a national network of very able, capable, successful women.
There is now a feeling of equality as though women are there to help
each other. This conference has been characterised by a lack of
competitiveness and the sort of 'one-upmanship' that women have
experienced at some male-dominated conferences.
In addition, it is a mark of this conference that men have
participated as speakers and full-time members. The confer^^nca has
shown that men as well as women can function in a co-operafc i ve ,
collaborative manner. Systems have historically seen the inequality
of women in management positions as a wome 's problem. As one man at
- 165 -
this conference has stated this issue must be confronted by both men
The third aim of the conference was for women and men to be re-
inspired to direct energy into pursuing the inclusion of women in
management of schools and systems.
Through the quality of the speakers, the quality of the
organisation the quality of the interaction, and the quality of the
individuals and their contributions, participants at this conference
have been challenged to make their own personal decision about how
best to use a direct the energy and renewed enthusiasm acquired
within their own milieu.
Many issues have emerged and a few are hignlighted in this paper.
Selection procedures for senior positions. The processes involved
in the selection of senior positions require constant vigilance. The
selection criteria, job descriptions and specifications must be non-
sexist and must be challenged when they are sexist. Where there is a
policy of including someone with an equal opportunity role on panels,
that person must ensure equal treatment, not only in terms of sex, but
also age and race, eliminate hearsay remarks which are damaging to
applicants, and challenge the unexamined assumptions about women,
including their capabilities and personal qualities and leadership
COmPo ition of Selection Panels. In relation to the composition of
selection panels the ultimate aim must be for gender balance as an
affirmation of women's contribution. The criteria and emphasis given
to particular skills will change where both men and women are involved
and share the responsibility for decisions.
Social attitudes towards women in management. Social attitudes
towards women in management are developed partly by how others view
women and partlv on hr^ women view themselves. Women have often been
described as militant feminist confrontationists or alternatively
whining, complaining, har d-done-by-women , Such views of women
ndicate extreme stereotyping. In the past the system has adopted a
'«ficit model of women ir management in its attempts to redress the
in^-qua 1 i t i es in terms of the number of women in senior positions.
This has been a naive and unsophisticated point of view in which the
outcor^ has been the attempt to equip women with those skills which
have been traditionally associated with men. The conference has
enco- ragea the sharing of the positive attitudes, strategies,
knowledge and skills that women have, so that they can .^uild on each
other's success within their own frameworks and present the new and
emerging role model for women so different from the "Uticle Tom' model.
The exercise of women's power is in the way women manage themselves as
individuals, recognising and capitalising on the uniqueness of their
skills and their differences. Women need to have faith in themselves
as managers with strengths.
- 166 -
The changing role of the manager. Some of the strengths that the
emerging women in management bring to the corporate table include:
the ability to see issues clearly, penetrate the murky confusion,
get to the heart of the matter and estu*)lish what the real issue
- the refusal to play ^one-upmanship' games by being supportive of
people's work and treating them as equals regardless of their sex;
- the capacity to see the consequences of decisions and place those
squarely on the table;
- preparedness to trust *.n intuition which is learned skilled based
on female experience;
respect for sensitivity and perception which leads women to
recognise that people, and more particularly children, are on the
end of decisions made.
Personal career planning. There are two common debilitating
syndromes which women can lock themselves into - even though they want
promotion. Sampson's research indicated one to be the couldn't
possibly do that' synd/ome and the other ^I'm not able to take
promotion because I iiave too many family ties and responsibilities'
syndrome. These attitudes are at one end of the continuum. At the
other end is the necessary positive self-fulfilling statement which
is; *I can make things happen for myself. The necessary process is
to move from the self-defeating end of the continuum to the sell-
actualising end and is characterised by the recognition that all
people make choices. In order to be in the position to make positive
choices women have to work within the system to provide *-he strategies
to increase opportunities and provide more viable opportunities for
women. Given that these opportunities become available, the choice of
using them is then up to individual women. Some of the strategies
mentioned over the last three days include:
undergoing '•raining programs
personal c unselling of other women (If each participant helped
one othe*- woman to raise her awareness and self esteem next week
there would be another 150 women with vision)
acting at high duties level
undertaking further studies if this is necessary
being talked to by others who have successfully managed
constantly reinforcing the message.
Research. Research is essential to provide a considered and clear
knowledge base. Women must take cognisance of Dale Spender's
- 167 -
arguments for women defining their own areas of research. The
monitoring of ongoing statistics to follow the path of change
essential to that sound knowledge base* The collection of case
studies of successful women in management to establish common factors
wi IV i lluminate the path for progress.
The way forward is exciting, challenging and stimulating. Women
face the choice of being managers who exhibit male, female,
androgynous or gender-inclusive characteristics. As John Steinle
stated in his paper:
There are distinct and positive differences in the way women
approach and carry out their jobs. They are now in sufficient
numbers to have an impact on the male definition of the
^succes3ful' manager in education. As more women are able to
enter senior management positions, one can anticipate more
^gender-inclusive' models of management.
Gender-inclusive models are more attractive to women and indeed to
men, particularly in the field of education because these models value
and affirm h^man skills, experiences and visions of equality. Women
are without doubt making progress.
- 168 -
TOWARDS THE YEAR 2000 - REFLECTIONS ON THE NAIROBI END OF THE UNITED
NATIONS DECADE FOR WOMEN KORUM AND CONFERENCE
This paper was written at short notice immediately after return
from the United Nations Forum to mark the end of the UN 'Decade for
Women'. It was prepared for the Conference after-dinner speech and
presents reflections on the Forum (held in Nairobi in July 1985)
rather than any insightful analysis of its significance.
It is a feature of United Nations conferences that they also hold,
concurrently, a gathering of non-governniental organisations to discuss
the same topic. In Mexico in 1975 a Tribune was held at the same time
as the United Nations conference to mark the beginning of the UN
Decade for Women. The conference to mark the mid-decade which was
held in Copenhagen, also had a forum. Although non-governmental
organisations or NGOs are organisations which are officially
accredited with the United Nations, it is not only members of NGOs who
attend these gatherings. In the words of the opening program for the
Nairobi fo*"um ^Everybody is welcome' - and practically everybody came
to Nair In total 17,000 people attended either the conference or
the forum, the conference being the smaller with only 2,000
NGO Foru m
The lasting memory of the forum is one of tremendous activity and
exchange of information and the vast hospitality and friendliness of
the Kenyan women. The media coverage in Australia was pretty dismal
but there were some 1,400 journalists in Nairobi. The reported
administrative mishaps were vastly over-emphasised by the media. What
would have happened at the Australian National University if 5,000
people had been expected to attend such gatherings and instead 17,000
arrived. The university halls of residence were turned over to forum
participants. There was some unpleasantness when women attending the
forum were asked to move out of first claBS hotels to make room for
official delegates to the conference. This was probably the fault of
the high commissions and embassies in Nairobi for not informing the
women while still in their own countries that they would be required
to live at the university. This had certainly been done well ahead by
the Australian High Commission in Nairobi.
The accommodation at the university was quite adequate, with brand
new bedding and towels. As is asual in residential living, those who
got up earliest got the hot showers. The restaurants in Nairobi
served absolutely delicious food, African, Indian, Chinese and
European. Although it was not considered safe to walk in Nairobi at
night there was never a problem getting a taxi to go down town or back
to the university.
Waiting in line was a feature of the torum. However, for most
tbit^ was not a negative experience but an opportunit' to meet women
from many different parts of the world, exchange addresses and
establish friendships. It was an unforgettable experience to sit on
- 169 -
the grass in the middle of the main square at the university waiting
to register - among thousands of women in bright coloured costumes;
Africans in brilliant cotton dresses; Indians in saris and women in
western dress looking drab by comparison; women from the Sudan,
wearing pastel coloured veils and Indians from the mountains in Chile,
wearing elaborate costumes similar to those worn in Nepal in India.
The opening of the forum was held in the Kenyatta Centre, later to
be the venue of the official conference. This is an enormous
conference centre and when filled with all the forum participants, led
in song by the African women, provided very emotional and
One of the speakers at the opening was Dame Nita Barrow, a woman
from Barbados, who was convener of the conference. She said
Some among you may only be here to go on Safari, but for the
others there is much to see, much to do. Many have come to
present workshops and many, I hope, to listen.
In fact, during the next two weeks, it became obvious that for
most the primary intention was hard work, although tha Kenyan tourist
industry did a thriving business arranging safaris to the game parks
for ir^ny forum and conference participants.
A daily newspaper called Forum 85 was produced. This was an
excellent paper and set out the many daily events, reported on the
workshops and interviewed leading participants. Those who wish to
know more about the forum activities should try to borrow copies of
these newspapers. Each day at any time there would be at least 50
simultaneous workshops in full swing with over 100 held each day.
Cultural events were staged all day in the French Cultural Centre;
there was an exhibition of technology and tools on the sports fields;
a peace tent and numerous little stalls; dancing groups and groups of
women who had Just come together to sit on the grass and talk.
Needless to say, it was impossible to attend all activities, but
with 250 Australian women at the forum many were covered. A group of
Australian women from Victoria has agreed to prepare a report on the
forum, which should be available in the next few months.
FORUM 85 urged women to use every opportunity to build up their
own networks. When it workshops, having lunch or dinner, or sitting
together in the evening, so many women from all parts of the world
would never again have a better chance to create their own special
interest international networks. This was the most important outcome
of the Copenhagen forum and will also be one of the most important
outcomes of the Nairobi fcrum..
Initially I chose to attend Equality and Employment workshops but
soon found myself fascinated by workshops presented by third worla
women. While moT^v were not directly relevant to my work in Australia,
they gave me a broador appreciation of the problems of women in many
countries in the world - many problems confronting women in Australia
paling by comparison.
Agriculture in Africa relies on the female labour force, working
in the traditional manner, with low productivity and lack of access to
- 170 -
resources. New technology has had a negative effect on women in
agriculture in Africa, Mechanisation has tended to replace female
labour, the new employment created by mechanisation usually going to
men. Expansion of cash crops utilising mechanised methods frequently
requires more land, pushing food producers to less fertile and
marginal land, thus further decreasing their productivity.
Access to fresh, safe wat r is a major problem, especially in the
rural areas where many African women have to walk many mil i each day
to collect water often sleeping overnight at the well before
returning home with fresh water in the morning. The bulk of
Africa's energy comes from firewood, which is gathered by the women.
The difficulties African women face in gathering wood are compounded
by inefficient use of energy. Most wood used for cooking or heating
is burned in open fires '.n which as much as 95 per cent of the energy
generated is lost. This means that a high amount of wood is consumed
and women must go to fetch wood frequently and return bent over by the
heavy loads on their backs. As more and more wood is used the women
have to walk further and further to find trees. There is also a
danger that if this extravagent use of wood continues for too long
that parts of wooded Africa will soon be a desert.
The technology and tools exhibition was of particular importance
to African women and other third world women facing similar problems.
Emphasis was placed on products which used technology to lighten
women's workload and provide opportunities for the generation of
income. It was divided into six main workshops:
food processing and storage technology;
health, including water and sanitation;
income generating technologies.
Questions addressed here included how to integrate appropriate
technologies into women's income-producing projects; how to
communicate information about the appropriate technology to local
groups in each country; how women can persuade training and
educational institutions to off*=-r courses relevant to their project
work with appropriate technology and, most importantly, how women can
take control of technology and not vice versa.
On the Saturday of the forum, participants were provided with
opportunities to meet rural Kenyan women first hand. Thousands of
women were taken by bus to many country areas where they were greeted
by dancing and singing rural women, who explained their local
projects. These projects were all in addition to the work the women
did looking after their families .^nd their farms. Many women were
making handicrafts and sought the .help of overseas visitors to find
markets for these handicrafts. Other projects were an example of non-
traditional work for women. In one, women were making concrete
building blocks and in another, they were running a hardware store.
Equality^ peace and development were themes for WcTten's Decade and
for many women, there cannot be equality or development in their
countries without peace and freedom from domination by outside powers.
Many issues, which are or> the UN's agenda, were discussed in the
ER?C -1,1 -lfi4
workshops at the forum - the Israel/Palestinian problem, and appeal by
women in Iraq for cessation of the war with Iran, the invasion of West
Papua by Indonesia, El Salvadore and the Nuclear Free Pacific to name
a few. But unlike the UN meetings this did not stop the business of
the forum. Women came to learn and listen and establish a dialogue.
The blue and white peace tent provided a space for discussions to
continue once workshops concluded. The peace tent was the result of
six months' work by forty women from fifteen different countries. Its
purpose was to provide an opportunity to prod :ce feminist alternatives
to men's conflicts. At one stage there was a suggestion that the
Kenyan authorities would close the tent as discussions were considered
too anti-American. Dame Nita Barrow said that if the peace tent was
closed, she would close the forum. Dame Nita is a very strong woman
and the tent remained.
There is not time to mention all the highlights of the forum but
two issues provide an example of how women have combined across
national boundaries to take concerted action. One is the geni tal
mutilation or circumcision of women and the other the sexual
exploitation of young girls and women of the third world.
In Copenhagen there was confusion surrounding the topic of genital
mutilation, over some African resentment of what they saw as an effort
to handle the issue by western women with a mission to save Africans.
It was clear from the workshops in Nairobi that a high shift had
occured in the fight to stop circumcision. Africans now *own' the
problem and many are taking effective measures to eradicate it. The
Nairobi workshops were organised by an inter-African committee, which
came into being at a conference held in Dakar in February 1984.
Following this confi?rence national commissions were set up in a number
of countries to implement its recommendations. More than 26 African
nations came together in Khartoum in October 19b4 for an intensive
five day workshop, entitled *The African woman speaks out against
Seminars have been organised for people generally and nurses and
midwives in particular, teaching aids developed and publicity
campaigns drawn up. Efforts are being made to stop midwives from
conducting the operation and perpetuating the practice, both through
education and by trying to find other sources of income for them.
Funds for launching some of them in petty trading are being sought.
Networking between the women in ♦'hese countries concerned is proving
to be extremely useful. Solutions and proposals for activities were
exchanged at the forum.
Women from the Phillipines discussed the progress they have made
in trying to prevent the sexual exploitation of women in their country
by tourists. Here Filipino women and Japanese women had combined
together to present information about sex tcnrs to the Philippines.
Asian wcnen spoke of the exploitation of their women by foreign
military pers'^nnel based in their coun tries. The exploi tat ion of
African wom&n in Europe was also discussed and there was a call for
Unesco to place the prevention of sexual exploitation of children high
on their agenda. Much activity can be expected in this area as the
result of networks formed at the Nairobi forum.
- 172 -
Australian women also presente^i workshops on subjects such as
ant •-discrimination and the comparable worth of work. Aboriginal
women presented an excellent workshop to a packed room.
In the midst of all this activity the offir.al UN Conference
began, but such was the degree of energy at che forum that the
conference seemed almost an irrelevance. The members of the
Australian delegation came to the forum each night to meet with forum
participants. This was considered essential for, as Senator Patricia
Giles, leader of the Australian delegation said, it wu<; only by the
efforts of the NGOs that the UN Decade for Women was established and
any document produced by hhe coi'j^erence would only be implemented in
all countries by thi' concerted efforts of NGOs.
The Nairobi conference started under a considerable cloud.
Earlier preliminary conferences had made little headway. These had
produced a large document on which there was no agreement except for
its name. This certainly sounded as if it had been written by a
committee. The document was known by the incredible titlf^ of
^ Forward-^look i ng strategies of implementation for the advancement of
women and concrete measures to overcome obstacles to the advancement
of the goals and objectives of the United Nation? decade for Women for
the period 1986 to the year 2000: equality, development and peace.'
Not surprisingly it was soon k.;own as the ^Forward-looking Strategies'
or FLS for short.
The FLS was some 300 - AOO paragraphs long and two committees were
set up to consider different paragraphs. Huch drafting and redrafting
went on in these committees, but progress seemed extremely slow to
foru!. participants who were used to the frenetic pace of the forum.
Eventually the FLS was presented to the plenary session of the
conference on the last day. All went well until 4pm in the afternoon
when the conference caiie to paragraph 95 which included the word
Zionism in a list of major obstacles to women's advancement, such as
apartheid and racism.
This of course was the rock on which the communi que from the
Copenhagen conference foundered. Australia and other countries
refused to sign a document containing these words.
The plenary session broke up while intensive lobbying went on.
What followed were very tense hours indeed when it seemed that once
again no agreement could be obtained and the FLS would be lost. The
leader of ^he Kenyan delegation said later that it was like watching a
baby die in your lap. But by ll.SOpm the African women had managed to
obtain agreement to an alternative form of words - ^and all other
forms of racial discrimination' was to replace Zionism. The FLS was
saved and the remaining paragraphs passed by the Plenary by 4am.
So the conference, which had started with agreement only on a
name, concluded with a blueprint action for women in the areas of
equality, development and peace to be taken by all countries between
1985 and the year 2000. !*• was the largest UN conference ever, with
the largest number of countries which had ever participated in a UN
- 173 -
conference and was the first time that such a document had been
arrived at by consensus.
There is much work ahead for governments and NGOs alike if its
ideals are to be achieved by the year 2000.
- 174 -
RECOMMENDATIONS AND STRATEGIES
The Conference Planning Committee for the National Conference
'Women in Management in Primary and Secondary Education : Making
Progress' presents the following resolutions to the ^ouncil of the
Australian College of Education. The recommendations arose from
Conference workshops, were presented to the final plenary session for
preliminary endorsement and then forwarded to all participants for
endorsement. The Conference expressed appreciation for the support of
the Cv xlege in sponsoring three conferences on women in educational
It is recommended that the Australian College of Education
endorse the following general principles:
the fundamental right of women and men to be equally responsible
for the management of schools and education systems;
equitable representation of women and men in policy formulation
and decision making in schools and education systems;
improved access to professional development in education
management, which may entail special provision for women;
improved information collection and dissemination relating to
These principles are reflected in the following recommendations to
the College and to education authorities and organisations in
AUSTRALIAN COLLEGE OF EDUCATION
It is recommended that the College:
ask the editors of Unicorn to:
- include an overview of the conference in an early issue of
the journal in 1985;
- consider the publication of other suitable papers presented
at the conference, subject to normal editorial procesg;
advertise the availability of the full co'^i-rence
proceedings which are intended for publication as a separate
ask each Chapter of the College to hold appropriate follow-up
activities on women in ecacational management aimed specifically
at classroom teachers;
ask its national Research Committee to consider and encourage
research projects which:
- 175 -
provide a profile of girls' educational backgrounds and
their career destinations so that an assessment can be made
of their courses to see whether chey have enablec^ girls to
gain the necessary confidence to enter education management;
- disseminate information about the Victorian SCOPE program
throughout Australia to all education authorities and the
media so that the existing situation is highlighted;
*- disseminate information about exemplary programs whi ch
contribute to increasing the participation of women in
management positions in schools and school systems.
transmit the conference recommendations to the following groups:
government and non-government systems authorities;
Australian Education Council;
- Commonwealth Schools Commission;
- Ministers and Shadow Ministers of Education, State and
- government and non-government teachers' .nd parents'
- Office of the Status of Women and the National Women's
- women politicians. State and Commonwealth;
- wom<in's advisers in each State and Territory;
- Commonwealth Council for Educational Administration, State
and national bodies;
- women's education networks.
AUSTRALIAN EDUCATION COUNCIL (AEC )
It is recommended that the /.EC initiate an annual ^.ational
collection and reporting of data bearing on disadvantage to women due
to current educational practices; this should include information
concerning the numerical representation of women in all categories of
C OMMONWEALTH SCHOOLS COMMISSION (CSC)
It is recommended that the CSC:
initiate an investigation of alternjtive career structures to
enable teachers to remain in the classroom and that these be
trialled in each State;
fund the development of manvj?erial training programs for women.
OFFICE OF THE STATUS OF WOMEN (OSW)
It is recommended chat:
the initiative of the OSW in establishing a national data base on
women be endorsed;
that tne OSW inc?ude 'Women ir Educational Management' as an
easily identifiable component of that data base.
- 176 -
COMMONWEALTH AMD STATE DEPARTMENTS
It 5 8 recommended that high priority be given by all research
funding boaies and research sections of State and Federal departments
to research irto ways of improving the involvement of women in
GOVERNMENT AND NON^GOVERNMENT EDUCATION SYSTEMS AND AUTHORITIES
Research and Evalu»^cion
Lt is recommended that education systems and authorities:
**stablish and maintain a dcta base from which the following
gender statistics can be readily extracted:
- recruitrent and appointment to the teaching service;
i-pplication for eligibility for promotion;
- application for adver*ised promotions positions;
- management pos i t i ons •
- staff turnover;
- workers' compensation claims;
support research into issues impinging on women in education,
including the educational disadvantage cf girls;
require schools to evaluate their structures, practices and
progr-^ms to assist:
all students to recognise the potential of women;
- al? students, especially girls, to develop decision-making
skills and leadership styles;
girls to develop greater self esteem;
- female teachers to have experience in positions and on
committees to develop awa *eness of career structures and
leadership roles in education.
Policy and Programs
It is recommended that education systems and authorities:
constitute all decision-making panels/committees at all levels of
operation with a gender balance;
provide adequate inservicing for members of selection and
promotion committees co ensure an understanding of Equal
Employment Opportunity (EiiO) principles;
give the highest priority and adequate resource allocstic^n to
affirmcitive action programs a*- school and system levels to redress
the lack of representation of women in education management,
including numerical targets where appropriate;
include representation of women at all levels of management in
industrial democracy programs;
appoint EEO coordinators and implement EEO plans;
work towards accepting gender inclusive management which utilises
the full range of skills in administration and which values the
differences of any group working towards its determined
It is recommended that education systems and authorities:
adopt the principle of merit in selection of staff and re -.ef ine
the merit principle to include performance criteria which
recognise the experience and values of women»
specify the active fostering of EEO principles in all duty
statements of senior administrators;
adopt structjral changes in the conditions of service to militate
against discrimination because of broken service due to gender,
for example maternity and parenting le^ve;
consider limitit^g tenure in promotional positions with
reappointment subjej*: to broadly based review.
It is recommended that education systems and authorities:
accept the responsibility for des gning and implementing programs
for women and men in education to become more conscious of a range
of managerial styles;
allocate finance to staff development and training programs for
the implementation of equal employment opportunity principles and
provide i nservice/conf erence opportunities for women in education
to discuss, identify and clarify issues related to career
awareness and life planning;
develop a range of audiovisual resources which show successful
women as managers and which assist in raising the confidence and
self esteem of w^ T\en and girls in the longer term;
provide professional development of EEO principles for parent
bodies involved in school communities;
grant study leave for teachers to upgrade qualifications and
encourage women to apply.
It is recommended that all teacher unions:
adopt aff rmative action programs for women members, to include
representation of women at all lev*el£ of union management;
pursue policies which are of particular concerr to wcmen.
- 178 -
It is recommended that all participants:
establish and maintain support netwo^Vs for the implementation of
the conference recommendations in their own State or Territory;
approach women in the media to popularise exemplary models of
women in education management and promote women who have been
appointed to manager.ent positions.
During the conference, several State and system workshops
discussed specific recofrn\andat5ons relevant to their situations. Two
examples of these recommendations are those formulated by Catholic
women for Catholic education authorities and by ACT women for the ACT
Schools Authority Council,
CATHOLIC EDUCATIOK AUTHORITIES
It is recommended that:
Catholic education authorities at national, state, diocesan and
local levels maintain and develop those initiatives which will
ensure the inclusion of women at all levels of management;
the recommendations from the Conference be given urgent
consideration by systemic and non-systemic authorities within the
Catholic community of schools;
Catholic education offices establish units to deal with issues
related to women in education. The major task of these units will
be to investigate, compile and publish data on the philosophical,
administrative and curriculum ramifications of the under-
utilisation of women in Catholic education and to establish
appropriate procedures and policies to address the emerging
ACT SCHOOLS AUTHORITY (ACTSA)
The following recommendations were presented to the first
post-conference meeting of ACT participants who jiet to encourage a
network of women in management with an active role in promoting the
professional interests of women in the ACT and to consider possible
action to enhance the interests and concerns of women. The network
is meeting regularly.
It is recommended that the ACTSA Council:
replace the EEO officer with an EEO unit in 1986, and thc.t:
the resources to staff the unit be taken from positions
cur'-ently allocated to eligibility procedures;
the unit be responsible for the implementation of the
Authority's EEO Management Plan from 1986 to 1989;
the need for the unit's continuation be subject to revia^'
undertake a statistical analysis of its workforce in 1986 to
develop a profile on the employment situation of women and other
designated groups and their progress at all levels of the
Authority, These statistics should be maintained so that a
complete profile of women in the system is accessible, for example
HDA appointments, reasons for resignation, leave, applications for
promotions and success or failure,*
make a number of positions available in 1986 within a
professional development course designed to give women selected by
the Authority Joint EEO Committee acces3 to tiianagement skills that
will enable them to obtain senior management positions in the
Commonwealth Teaching Service (CIS) :
- selection be based on applications following advertisement,*
- selection criteria emphasi se demonstrated commi tment and
ability to implement EEO policy within the workplace,*
- the positions be open to women at all Band levels;
- the program be of two weeks duration and provide skills
training, including assertion and negotiating skills,
interviewing techniques, staff counselling skills, media
training skills with technology support, industrial
relations, resource management i \ a situation of budgetary
constraint, policy development and co-ordination, personnel
practires and procedures, information technology and
comput i ng skil Is , futurology, computer i sat ion techniques for
student assessment and timetabling,*
- funding for this course be reallocated from the paid study
- the workplaces from which the successful applicants are
chosen satisfy the following conditions:
have school-workplace EEO committee,*
have detailed management plan for implementing EEO
strategies within the school which will utilise the
knowledge, skills and experience of the successful
require all members of Authority pr omot i on/tr and f er panels to
undertake a two-day staff training program in all aspects of staff
selection with emphasis on the requirements of EEO legislation,
policy and practices,* validity of different leadership styles
should be recognised by panels,*
require all committees to include women members and, where
possible, to be status balanced,*
commence negotiations with the appropriate bodies, for example
the ACT Teachers' Federation (ACTTF) and the Commonwealth Public
Service Board to remove the barriers to mobility between the
Australian Public Service (APS) and the CTS,*
negotiate with the ACTTF to reach agreement that the Authority
seek exemption for the next five years under the Sex
Discrimination Act to tag two of the four Bands 4 and 3 level
senior promotions positions in secondary schools and 50 per cent
of the senior promotions positions in the Office and in primary
- 180 -
maintain and extend the master teacher scheme;
use short-term HDAs for professional development experience for
increase study leave opportunities for women;
negotiate with the ACTTF to ensure that from 1986 all vacant
promotion positions at principal level become subject to five
convene (in conjunction with the relevant union) a meeting of
women in CTS and APS positions to discuss mobility and affirmative
action strategies to achieve EEO;
convene a meeting with the ACTTF to follow up the implementation
of the recommendations of the workshop with the Senior Directors,
Directors and Principal Executive Officers in the Authority
concerned with staffing and professional development;
review its personnel policies and practices to identify those
which discriminate against women and other designated groups;
evaluate the implementation of its affirmative action program
against the goals determined;
evaluate annually the components of the program and set new goals
and targets in the light of the results.
CATEGORIES OF DATA COLLECTION RECOMMENDED BY THE WORKSHOP ON RESEARCH
In addition to these formal reconunendations, workshops produced
implementation strategies in several areas of concern. Data
collection is an essential step in determining action. The conference
recommended several areas where data collection was crucial.
1. Recruitment Appointment
Number of applications for employment:
Teachers appointed from above:
. by gender;
. as above;
. by permanent/contract/temporary (that is, type of appointment).
by level - pre-school
(in all these - subject
area where applicable)
- 181 -
Applications for Promotion
male/female breakdown of applicants and as a percentage;
male/female breakdown of withdrawals and as a percentage;
m e/female breakdown of applicants at all levels, i.e.
showing Bands 1, 2 and 3 at each of pre-school, pr imary,
secondary and R-12 levels;
ejuccessful applicants by gender at var ious levels (wi th
grading where applicable);
unsuccessful applicants by gender;
number of times applied for assessment.
applicants for advertised positions by gender;
short listed applicants by gender;
appointment by gender.
Data to be collected in the same classifications act set out
above for assessment/eligibility.
Profile of Women
Number of women currently occupying promotions positions (as a
percentage of the total promotions positions).
Breakdowns through all sectors as in paragraph 2.
Figures on the following positions specifically and within the
deputy - area of responsibility;
senior ttacher (small schools where a responsibility
allowance is provided) ;
other responsibility allowances.
And numbers of the above who are s
higher duties allowance;
acting (after advertising position);
All of the above to be broken down as :
percentage of total;
actual male/female numbers
Ratio of women in management positions to the total number of
women in the service.
- 182 -
Percentage Staff Turnover Rate
Percentage male ) together with length of service
Percentage female) in the system.
5. Periods of Leave Without Pay
For accouchement/parenting leave, study, travel, with male/female
breakdown in years/months for each category separately.
Applications for leave-without-pay (as above if possible).
6. Time Out Under Workers' Compensation
For each gender :
7. Data which is Not Readily Available
Reasons for resignations by gender.
Compositions and membership of departmental/authority committees
by gender and rank.
Placement in relation to choice of females in tertiary
Current position of teachers in relation to position five and ten
years previouslj'. by gender*
Subject choice at years 11-12 by gender in courses for
credential ling, certification, accrediting.
STRATEGIES RECOMMENDED BY THE WORKSHOP ON CHANGING THE MANAGERIAL ROLE
The workshop on changing the managerial role made recommendacions
on strategies relating to the definitions of merit, structural change,
professional development for administrators and school level
Definition of Merit
Merit should be redefined in operational terms, as follows :
Seniority should not be part of oierit.
Merit should be based on s
- diversity of experience;
- performance validated by referees;
demonstrated ability to interact with females and males in
sector of teaching, for example primary.
demonstrated awareness of broad current educational issues,
including equal employment opportunity. Preferably this will
include upgrading formal qaualif ications and readiness to be
involved in inservice programs, special interest groups and
committees for special programs •
Pastoral/nurturing experience should be given full merit. This
may include nurturing in the home.
Selection and assessment panels should have :
- equitable representation of males and females;
- vertical representation of groups in the system;
- inservicing, especially on EEO which includes awareness
raising of personal biases;
- an EEO observer to brief the panel at all stages of
selection, and have input into inservicing;
- EEO observers who are committed to the issues should be
nominated by the union.
All committees, working parties and task forces within the
system, including those within each school, should adequately
represent women and men through equitable representation.
The process of decision making at system and school levels should
be based on a participative, democratic model, for example
rotation of chairperson at meetings, formulation of agenda and
Higher duties should be rotated among females and males
Data recording the evidence of equitable representation in
decisionmaking at all levels should be a significant feature of
the report of the Director-General in every State.
The EEO co~ordinator appointed to the system should have status
at least equivalent to that of principal of a large primary school
and have the resources and power to implement EEC policy.
Senior and middle management at system level should be given an
active role in the inservice presentation of EEO policy to all
levels of the education community.
Professional Development for Administrators
The following strategies should be used to sensitise
administrators so that they will recognise and promote the
contributions of women to the management role. To ensure
implementation of all these strategies a gender-balanced committee
should be established to monitor their continuing development.
- 184 -
Systems and schools
Increase administrators' awareness of the cnanging social context
of present life patterns.
Raise consciousness through holding post-conference reviews in
each State, involving decision makers.
Provide constant reinforcement through ^trade' magazines.
Plan personal targetting by influential women of men in power.
Ask administrators to inform staff on the criteria and procedures
used in allocating specific responsibilities^ both paid and
Develop a series of questions for use by women in schools, on
committees and in Ihe community which focus on the need for
Arrange a visit by a committed person to new promotees to raise
their awareness of their responsibilities for the developmr^nt of
women as managers.
Require each system to have a written EEO policy which requires
each school to have the same, ensuring that the implications of
the policy are addressed in each curriculum area.
Identify committed women and ensur? at least one is present on
every professional organisation.
Appoint an EEO representative on every committee in the office.
Develop a network of critical friends for use by the EEO officer
and schools in developing and implementing policy^
Conduct action research on allocation of roles in the school and
report to staff.
Arrange a person to speak to each school staff on EEO.
Survey external and internal administration training courses then
follow up with personal interpretation of results with those
running the courses to raise consciousness on gender issues.
Convene a joint ACE/ACEA conference on management, including
consciousness raising oit gender issues.
Arrange pr e-appointment training for new administrators at system
level or school level, including EEO issues.
Provide compulsory insp--'ice training which includes EEO issues
for school executives.
School Level Initiatives
School administrators should be asked to implement the following
strategies and system administrators should actively promote
Professional Development of Vowen
Develop a staffing role so that a conscious effort is made to
discuss career pathways.
Ensure that men and women undertake equally nurturing and
administrative role.3 and appropriate pre-traininf.
Give acting (HDA) positions to women as well as men, on a
proport i onal basis .
Act. as a mentor, for example actively seek out and encourage able
women, involving them in discussion of educational issues on both
formal and informal bases.
Put women in prominent positions in front of the student body and
the wider school community.
Encourage and enable women to participate in inservice and
Involve women in the formal decision making, for example that
which has occurred over a beer at the hotel.
Select women to represent the school and principal at
out side-school meetings.
School and Community Development
Make staff, students and community aware o^ issues through
assemblies, staff and parent meetings ^nd school publications.
Actively encourage women in the community to take non-traditional
roles in the school, for example on the school council.
Reflect the proposed devolution of duties on how tasks are
allocated to students.
Appoint a gender-balanced committee to monitor the continuing
development of these strategies.
Initiatives By Wome n
Women should take responsibility to develop further their
management beliefs and styles, in :
forward planning; 1.^9
- 186 -
accepting the entrepreneurial role;
delegating authority and co-ordinating;
undertaking specific tasks of budgeting, supervision;
within the framework of EEO philosophy.
They should develop an understanding of the hidden agenda in the
organisation and use it to advantage, such as identification of power
STRATEGIES RECOMMENDED BY THE WORKSHOP ON MANAGEMENT EDUCATION
Management education should be in four main areas :
managerial skills and knowledge acquisition;
professional skills and knowledge acquisition;
directional career path planning; and
personal skills development .
It should take place in three areas, the school, the system and
the environment, and proceed in formal, informal and non-formal ways
from pre-service, through inservice to ^para-service', a lateral
System administrators should ensure that staff have access to
inservice education, study leave and conference attendance.
The network of professional colleagues should be utilised for self
assessment and development.
School staffrooms should be equipped with regularly updated course
Unions should be encouraged to regard professional development as
a legitimate concern of union members.
Development areas for management education are detailed in Table 1
and categories of professional development in Table 2.
- 187 -
WOMEN IN MANAGEMENT IN PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION :
NEW SOUTH WALES
Ms Ann Clark
Sr Helen Connolly
Ms Sue Cramer
Ms Hester Eisenstein
Miss Patricia Grant
Ms Kerry Hyland
Sr Marilyn Kelleher
Ms Robin Kelly
Dr Lesley Lynch
Ms Helen MacGregor
Miss Natalie McNamara
Ms Natasha McNamara
Dr Jan Milburn
Ms Marianne Mil Ian
Ms Janice Nash
Sr Paula Smith
Ms Shirley Steel
Deputy Director of SchoolJ, Catholic
Education Office, Sydney
Principal, Brigidine College
Principal, Wairoa School
Assistant Director, Office of the Director of
Equal Opportunity in Public Employment, New
Education Advisor, National Catholic
Acting Equal Employment Opportunity Co-
ordinator, New South Wales Department of
Principal, Conference of Major Superiors of
Women's Religious Institutes, Australia,
Region of New South Wales
Principal, Croydon Public School
Officer-in- Charge Social Policy Unit, New
South Wales Ministry of Education
Relieving Organiser, New South Wales
Teachers ' Federat ion
Head of Personnel Department, Catholic
Education Office, Sydney
Co-Director, Aboriginal Training and Cultural
Principal, New England Girls'' School
Representative, New South Wales Teachers'
English/Hiotory Co-ordinator, St Andrew's
Lecturer in Education, Mitchell College of
Representative, New South Wales Teachers'
- 188 -
Ms Vicki Tanzer
Sr Mary Wright
Ms Suzanne Barrah
Sr Cecilia Bridginan
Dr Judith Chapman
Ms Jan Dillow
Ms Joan Eltham
Ms Di Fleming
Ms Marilyn Fcrde
Ms Olga Holt
Mrs Eve Langdale
Mrs Barbara Lynch
Ms Elizabeth McMillan
Dr Ray Kaddocks
Ms Margaret Malloch
Regional Consultant, Catholic Education
Office, Southern Region
Principal Loreto Convent, Kirribilli
Deputy Principal, Ruyton Girls' School
Member, Victorian Catholic Education
Senior Lecturer in Education, Monash
President, Technical Teachers' Union of
Honorary Secretary, Federation of Victorian
Vice-President, Australian Council for
Executive Officer, Victorian Independent
Teacher r ' Federation
Representative, Victorian Primary Principals'
Professional Assistant, Australian College of
Principal » Wesley College
Senior Consultant* Equal Employment
Opportunity Education Department of Victoria
Executive Consultant, Education Department of
Senior Education Off icer , Gippsland Regional
Education Office, Education Department of
Mrs Fiona Ogilvy-0' Donne 11
Assistant to the Executive Director,
Association of Independent Schools of Victoria
Ms Jenny Oostindel
Ms Megan Pannu
Dr Shirley Sampson
Representative, Victorian Affiliated
Teachers ' ^ederat ion
Wesley College, Prahran
Senior Lecturer in Education, Monash
- 189 -
Ms Veronica Schwarz
Ms Kristin Scully
Dr Barry Sheehan
Mrs Suzanne Strangward
Ms Debra Towns
Ms Jan Culla
Ms Brenda Fennell
Mrs Judith Hancock
Ms Patricia Hodgson
Sr Mary McDonald
Sr Miriam McShane
Mrs Glenys Mills
Dr Ann Scott
Ms Patricia Waldby
Ms Jillian Dellit
Ms Rosemary Gracanin
Ms Madeleine Hedges
Ms Margaret Kiley
Policy and Planning Officer, Education
Department of Victoria
Representative, Association of Teachers in
Victorian Catholic Secondary Schools
Director, Melbourne College of Advanced
Year Level Co-ordinator , Presbyterian Ladies'
Co-ord inator , Equal Opportunity Unit,
Education Department of Victoria
Senior Mistress, MacGregor State High School
Teacher~in-Charge, Marsden Special Education
Representative, Association of Independent
Schools of Queensland
Assistant Secretary, Queensland Independent
Teachers ' Feder at i on
Director, Catholic Education Office,
Project Co-ordinator , Queensland Catholic
Principal, Banana State Primary School
Education Officer (Special Duties), Policy
and Information Service Branch, Queens land
Department of Education
Representative, Federation of Parents and
Friends Associations of Queensland
Affirmative Action Co-ordinator , Education
Department of South Australia
Assistant Director of Education, Education
Department of South Australia
Principal, Elizabeth Vale Primary School
Project Officer (Early Child hood) Education
Department of South Australia; Counc i 1 lor ,
Australian College of Education
- 190 -
Hs Helsa Kolbe
Ms Val Laidlaw
Ms Pamela McCall
Ms Peggy Mares
Ms Denzil O'Brien
Dr Peter OBrien
Mr Brian Pocock
Ms Marilyn Sleath
Mr John Steinle
Ms Beverley Tonkin
Ms Therese Westcot
Ms Naomi Brown
Me Sandra Brown
Mrs Audrey Jackson
Dr Warren Louden
Ms Carol Henderson
Ms Wendy Scanlon
Mrs Helen Van Noort
Ms Ngaire Young
Director of Education (Resources), Education
Department of South Australia
Principal, Spence Primary School
Director of Studies, Pembroke School
Assistant Director (Personnel), Education
Department of South Australia
Acting Equal Opportunities Officer, Education
Department of South Australia
Senior Lecturer, Educational Administration,
President, Australian Primary Principals'
Superintendent of Schools, Education
Department of South Australia
Direct )r-General, Education L<2partment of
Women's Adviser, South Australian Institute
Co-ordinator , Women's Studies Resource Centre
Women's Adviser, State School Teachers' Union
of Western Australia
Oppor tuni ty) , Education
Department of Western
Principal, St Mary's Anglican Girls' School
Deputy Director-General, Education Department
of Western Australia
Representative, Catholic Education Office of
Acting Principal, Spearwood Alternative
Member, Independent Schools Secondary
Of f icers' Association
Education Officer (Equal Employment
Opportunity), Education Department of Western
- 191 -
Hs Jan Edwards
Mrs Beverley Hanlon
Senior Education Officer, Tasmanian
Department of Education
Repr"^ tentative, Tasmanian Teachers'
Mrs Margaret Lonergan Representative, Tasmanian Teachers'
Ms Beverley Richardson Deputy Director (Student Services), Tasmanian
DepartmeiiC of Education
Ms Lyn Powierza
Superintendent, Northern Territory Depflrtment
Mrs Mavis Shotton Principal, Sadadeen High School
AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITO!lY
Dr Don Anderson Chairperson, ACT Schools Authority
Ms Robyn Bagust
Ms Jill Bailey
Ms Diana Banks
Ms Lexy Bannikoff
Ms Maureen Bickley
Ms Julie Biles
Mr Garth Boomer
Mrs Maureen Boyle
Ms Helen Burfitt
Mrs Anne Cain
Ms Elizabeth Carven
Mrs Elizabeth Dawson
Ms Eileen Duhs
Organiser, Independent Schools Staff
Senior Teacher, Melrose High School
Principal, Hall Primary School
Senior Teacher, Hawker College
Consultant, Department of the Prime Minister
Representative, ACT Teachers' Federation
Chairman, Commonwealth Schools Coiwnission
Principal, Red Hill Primary School
Science Consultant, ACT Schools Authority
Principal , Koomarri School
English as a Second Language Consultant, ACT
Representative, ACT Teachers' Federation
Director, Education of Girls Unit,
Comir.onwealth Schools Commission
Ms Joan Dunn
Senior Teacher, Charnwood High School
- 192 -
Ms Maureen Dyer,
Ms Jenny Everett
Ms Dianne Foggo
Mr David Francis
Ms Margaret Frey
Ms Anna Glover
Ms Christine Goonrey
Ms Hazel Gordon
Ms Jan Grigor
Dr Greg Hancock
Ms Lyn Harasymiw
Ms Narelle Hargreaves
Mrs Elizabeth Harvey
Mrs Beattie Hatfield
Mrs Dianne Hocking
Ms Arlene Howes
Ms Jenny Jane
Ms Joan Kel^ett
Mrs Ros Kelly
Ms Helen Knight
Ms Bronwyn Leonard
Ms Margaret McElhinny
Project Officer, Commonwealth Schools
Senior Teacher, Hawker College
Industrial Officer, Australian Teachers '
Senior Director (Programs), ACT Schools
Community Relations Officer, ACT Schools
Director of PuMic Relations, ACT Schools
Senior Teacher (Humanities), Melba High
Acting Senior Teacher, Village Creek Primary
Non-Sexist Educat ion Consultant , ACT Schools
Chief Education Officer, Australian Capital
Territory Schools Authority
Equal Employment Opportunity, ACT Teachers'
Acting Principal, Miles Frankl in Pr imar y
Senior Teacher (History/Languages) , Campbell
Assistant Principal, Latham Primary School
Assistant Principal, Duffy Primary School
School Counsellor, Ginninderra High School
Teacher, Ginninderra High School
Member, ACT Schools Authority
Member for Canberra, House of Representatives
Policy Adviser, Office of the Status of Women
Assistant Principal, North Ainslie Primary
Teacher (English/History) , Ginninderra High
- 193 -
Ms Elizabeth HcKenzie
Principal Executive Officer (Curriculum
Services), ACT Schools Authority
Ms Gwen McNeill
Dr Mick March
Mr Fulton Muir
Ms Anne Murray
Ms Cheryl O'Connor
Ms Carolyn Page
Miss Mary Parsons
Ms Judy Perry
Mrs Jocelyn Plovits
Dr Barry Price
Ms Shirley Randell
Sr Mary Reardon
Ms Pam Richards
Ms Janet Rickwood
Ms Ca:hy Robertson
Ms Meg Sekavs
Mr David Southern
Ms Margaret Summers
Mrs Rae Tanzer
Ms Carolyn Tweedie
Ms Sue Upton
Assistant Principal, Narrabundah College
Representative, ACT Secondary Principals'
Member, ACT Schools Authority
Principal Education Officer (Early Childhood),
ACT Schools Authority
Principal, Macquarie Primary School
Senior Teacher (English), Deakin High School
Executive Officer (Administration),
Operations Section, ACT Schools Authority
Principal, The Co-operative School
Careers Co-ordinator , Ginninderra High School
Senior Director (Resources), ACT Schools
Director (Programs), ACT Schools Authority;
President-elect Australian College of
Executive Secretary, National Catholic
Representative, ACT Teachers' Federation
English Consultant, ACT Schools Authority
Acting EEO Co-ordinator ACT Schools Auth.
History co-ord5 nator , Course Administrator,
Principal. Ginninderra High School
Teacher, Ginninderra High School
Assistant Principal (Student Welfare),
Charnwood High School
Senior Educat i on Officer, PEP Co-ordinator ,
ACT Schools Authority
Project Officer, Education of Girls,
Curriculum Development Centre, Commonwealth
- 194 -
ISSUES FOR DISCUSSION AT PRE-CONFERENCE MEETINGS
1. The profile of education personnel by sex/structure of your
system/school (women in management positions in resources,
programs, faculties, libraries, centres, other).
2. The participation of women in major policy and decision-making
committees in your system/school*
3. The criteria for promotion in your system/school (seniority,
continuous service, country service, management t r a i ning ,
efficiency, extra-curricular activities, membership of
professional associations , personal qualities , merit , other) •
4. Tertiary qualifications considered useful for promotion (PhD, MA
or equivalent, BA or equivalent. Diploma, Certificate, other) >
5. Assistance granted for tertiary studies by your system/school
(time release, financial assistance, other).
6. Training in management provided by your system/school (person
management dimension, task management dimension, computing,
financial management, other).
?• Circulation of information about executive/management training
projjrams in your system/school (management /pr inc ipal , notice
boards, newsletter, informal networks, other).
8. Specific arrangements for career guidance or retraining offered
to women in your system/school.
9. Experience considered useful for promotion purposes (type of
professional organisations, type of extra curricular activities,
10. Basis of selection for conference attendance in your
system/school (man^jtement/principal, position in the hierarchy,
need ident ""^'ed by management, request by staff members, subject
group of stai , other).
11. Alternative criteria for promotion which could be used in your
12. Changes in staffing policies in your system/school resulting from
ant i~discrimi nation legislation (documents , procedures , committee
representation , other ) .
13. Changes in numbers of women applying for promotion in your
system/school since legislation and/or anti-discrimination policy
statements have been in effect.
14. Issues relating to women which have been raised in your
system/school within the past three years (job sharing, child
care, maternity leave, other).
- 195 208
15. Women's networks which have arisen in your system/school in the
past three years (equal employment opportunity co-ordinators,
women in science* other).
16. Functions of recently established women's networks in your
system/school (information sharing, personal support, regional
task force, other)*
17. Affirmative action programs and equal opportunity officers
operating in your system/school.
18. Major problems associated with gaining promotional positions for
women in your system/school.
19. Positive steps being taken by your system/school to increase the
number of women in educational management positions.
20. Positive programs being run by your system/school to increase the
management skills of women.
21. Strategies for increasing the number of women in positions of
educational management in your system/school.
- 196 -
ISSUES FROM INTRODUCTORY WORKSHOPS
Sensitising the administrators to women's contribution
Fostering the mentor role of the manager
Redefining meri t
Identifying goals to change staff meetings/unions/systems
Specific actions for individuals in school/systems
Identifying specific management skills for and in women
Strategies to ensure senior males are aware of responsibilities for
developing women on Rtaff
Consciousness raising for men and women
Image making/self marketing
Re-defining the Managerial Role
Changing managerial values
Changing managerial stereotypes
ChaP",^rg the public perception
Re-defining leadership/developing alternative models of leadership
Establishing new role models incorporating female and male dimensions
Breaking the current control of the 'powerbrokers ' to provide
different sources of support/advice to women
Fostering women's participation
Specific administrative experiences needed for promotion
Womens studies courses as pre-requisi tes for teacher education
Disseminating information about professional development
Work assignments as preparation for management
Structural experiences as preparation for management
- 197 -
^Hainstreaming' the issue of women in management
Upgrading and retraining in management skills
Developing political acumen
Strategies for increasing women's promotion
Identifying barriers in decision making
Industrial democracy issues - changes needed
Creating alternative promotion/career pathways
Role of unions
Changing promotion criteria
Identifying impediments to women's progress
Achieving equal representation of women on decision making committees
Devising career plans identifying sequences of jobs
Identifying job sequences
Identifying job mobility (ways of moving in and out of stressful
Combating discrimination in selection committees
Identifying methods for ensuring quality of experience
Self Perceptions of Women as Educational Managers
Pro-~active strategies for altering self perceptions
Developing self confidence
Identifying a women's st"le of management
Developing self esteem
Developing confidence from others
Identifying stress factors
Dealing with self-imposed and community stereotypes
Dealing with the frustration of expectations versus achievements
- 198 -
Developing affirmative action plans
Micro applications of affirmative action
Identifying strategies to increase the number of women in promotion
Countering possible affirmative action backlashes
Developing strategies to gain commitment from management for
affirmative action policies
Is affirmative action crucial?
Are there alternatives?
Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)
Getting commitment to EEO at national and state levels
Developing EEO job briefs
Incorporation of EEO representatives or panels
Enforcing the EEO policies
Developing the concept of EEO in administration tasks for women
Researching the Role of tfomen
Developing mechanisms for data collection
Developing guidelines for data collection
Publicising women's achievements
Disseminating research findings which show barriers for women within
Examining perceptions of gender in school committees
Identifying community perceptions of fcniale management skills
Developing Future Managers
Disseminating information about the skills necessary for management
The value of single-sex schools
Development of leadership skills in girls
Relating the curriculum to management
- 199 -
CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS PUBLICATION
Maureen Bickley, BA(Ecn8), DipEd(UWA), MBu8(Public Admin )( WAIT) .
Member, Advanced Education Council, Commonwealth Tertiary Education
Commission; Consultant, Affirmative Action Resource Unit, Office of
the Status of Women, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet;
previously Senior Tutor, Economics, Western Australian Institute of
Technology and Manager, Degas Engineering Pty Ltd ^WA).
Judith Chapman, BA DipEd(Melb), BEd(LaTrobe) , EdD(NColorado) , FACEA,
Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Education, Monash University; previously
secondary school teacher, Victorian Education Department, Campion
International School, Athens, Greece; Research Officer, Educat onal
Planning Service (USA).
Edward Clarke, BA BEd(Qld), Education Officer, Special Duties,
Educational History Unit, Policy and Information Service Branch,
Queensland Department of Education*
Jan Edwards, BEd, TTC(Tas), MACE, Senior Education Officer, Tasmanian
Education Department; previously Staff Development Officer, Tasmanian
Hester Eisenstein, BA( Radc 1 i f f e ) , PhD(Yale), Assistant Director,
Office of the Director of Equal Opportunity in Public Employment, New
South Wales; previously Co-ordinator , Experimental Studies Program,
Barnard College, Columbia University; Author (1984), Contemporary
Feminist Thought, Allen and Unwin.
Di Fleming, BA DipEd(Monash) , MACE; Junior School Co-ordinator , Wesley
College, Prahran; Vice-President, Australian Council for Educational
Di Foggo, DipEd(Darwin Community College, DipMultEd(Melb SC)
DipPhysEd(Melb) , Industrial Officer, Australian Teachers' Federation;
previously General Secretary, Northern Territory Teachers' Federation
and Executive Member Northern Territory T^' les and Labour Council.
Jennie George, BA D i p E d ( S y d n e y ) , President, Australian
Teachers 'Fede rat ion; Executive member, Australian Council of Trade
Unions, Member, National Women's Consultative Council; previously
General Secretary New South Wales Teachers' Federation and
TeacherQueanbeyan High School.
Rosemary Gracanin, DipT(Torrens CAE), I n f T C ( A d e 1 a i d e
TC ) , GradDipSch/Cty Rel (Sturt CAE), FACE, Assistant Director of
Education Schools, Students and Communi ty Services, education
Department of South Australia? previously Primary Principal Class A,
Hendon Primary School.
Kerry Hyland, BA(Hons) Equal Employment Opportunity Co-ordinator , New
South Wales Department of Education, previously teacher librarian and
f.-'-ilvn Jarnieson, BA BEd(La Trobe), TPTC, Senior Education Officer,
Victorian Education Department; previously primary school principal.
Ros Kelly, MP, BA DipEfi( Sydnoy) , Member for Canberra, House of
Representatives; Membc^r, Caucu;) Committee on the Status of Women;
previously Chairperson, ACV Schools Authority, member ACT Legislative
Warren Louden, BA MBA (WA), PhD(Alta) FACE Deputy Director-General,
Education Department of Western A^'stralia; Chairperson, Policy
Adivsory Committee on Equal Opportunity for Primary, Secondary and
Technical and Further Education Divisions of the Education Department
of Western Australia; previously Director, Guidance and Special
Ann McMahon, BA(Hons) Tas), MA(ANU), MAPSS, Senior Lecturer in
Administration, Canberra College of Au anced Education.
Janice Nash, BA(NSW), DipEd(Syd), MEdAdmin(UNE) . MACE, History and
English Co-ordinator , St Andrews Cathedral School; previously second
deputy, St Leo's College, Wahrocnga.
Margaret Lonergan, TasTC, MACE, Vice Principal, Lauderdale Primary
School; Convener, Tasmanian Teachers' Federrt^.on Research Committee
Peter OBrien, BA(So'ton), Di pEd ( Shef f ) , MEdCCalg), DEd(SA}, Senior
Lecturer in Educational Administration and Associate Dean of the
School of Education, Flinders University of South Australia.
Lynette Powierza, MBE, NZDipEd, FACE, Superintendent, Equal
Opportunities, Northern Territory Department of Education; previously
Superintendent, Multicultural, Northern Territory Department of
Parry Price, BA(Hons), DipEd(Syd), ilEdv'Canberra CAE), PhD(Lond),
Senior Director (Resources), ACT Schcols Authority; previously
Director (Curriculum), ACT Schools Authority.
Gail Radford, BSc(Syd), MSc(Ottowa), Director, Equal Employment
Opportunity Bureau, Commonwealth Public Service Board, Canberra;
previously veterinary surgeon, research Licientist and aid worker.
Shirley Randell, BEd(PNG), MEdC Canberra CAE) AIE(Lond) DipDiv,
DipREd(MCD) FACE, AFAIM, President elect, Australian College of
Education, Diractor (Programs), ACT ScN '^Is Au..hority; previously
Senior Adviser, Community Services, Dep . tment of Prime Minister and
Beverley Richardson, BA DipEd(Tas), FACE, MAPSS, Deputy-^Director ,
Student Services, Tasmanian Education Department.
Shirley Sampson, 3A DipEd(UWA), BEd PhD(Monash) FACE, Senior Lecturer,
Social, Comparative, and Administrative Studies, Faculty of Education,
Mcnash University; previously lecturer, Rusden College of Advanced
Educatic^ and school teacher.
Er|c - 201 -
Veronica Schwarz, Qld TC, BA(Mona8h), MEd(Melb), Policy and Planning
Officer, Education Department of Victoria, Member of Education
Department's Equal Employment Opportunity Consultative Committee;
previously Planning Officer, Planning Services.
Ann Scott, BEd (Canberra CAE), PhD(Qld), Policy Analyst , Queensland
Department of Education? previously lecturer, School of Business,
Brisbane College of Advanced Education.
Barry Sheehan, BComm, BEd(Melb), MA, PhD(Lond), Director, Melbourne
College of Advanced Education, previously Chairperson of the Centre
for Comparative and International Studies in Education at La Trobe
John Steinle, BA DipEd(Adel) MA(Lond) FACE, FAIM, FACEA, D^rertor-
General, South Australian Education Department; Member, Commonwealth
Schools Commission, Curriculum Development Centre, Australian Council
for Educational Research, UNESCO Executive Committee.
- 202 -
PROPOSED PROCEDURES AND CRITERIA FOR EVALUATION FOR PROMOTION
IN THE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA
EXTENSION OF THE FORMAL EVALUATION SYSTEM FOR PROMOTION BY MERIT IN
1986 FOR 1987
The Working Party ic planning procedures to allow for the
extension of the use of formal evaluation in determining promotion in
1986 for 1987 to the following categories:
(i) principal, primary schools, Class II
(ii) principal, district high -schools. Class II
(ill) deputy principal, high and senior high schools.
Fifty percent of vacancies in the above categories will be filled
by promotion based on formal evaluation.
Principali Primary Schools, Class II
Eligibility to apply in 1986 for promotion by merit in 1987 to the
positions of principal, primary schools. Class II will be open to
those whose names will appear on the promotion list for this category
in 1986, i.e.
(i) deputy principals, primary schools. Class lA
(ii) principals, primary schools. Class III
(iii) deputy principals (primary), district high schools.
Also eligible to apply will be deputy principals (f em ale) of
primary schools. Class I and lA who have had at least 8 years' total
service and hold a Teachers' Higher Certificate and any female Class
III principal or female deputy principal (primary) of a district high
school not yet eligible to be on the Class II list provided she has at
least 8 years in a promotional position and 12 years' total service.
The rationale for this decision is that it allows the appointment
to be made of males and females with broadly equivalent backgrounds.
Inputs to Formal Evaluation
Inputs to formal evaluation will be provided by the following:
( i i ) superintendent
- 203 -
(Hi) principal of the school , but where this is not practicable, a
second superintendent may be nominated. Alternatively a
principal holding a higher status than the applicant, with whom
the applicant has had recent (2 or 3 years) close professional
contact may be nominated
(iv) a colleague who has worked as a subordinate with the applicant
in the last 3 years (applicant nominates 3).
Principal. District High School. Class II
Teachers on the Class II district high school promotion list as
specified in Regulation 185(l)(f) are eligible to apply.
Inputs to Formal Evaluation
(a) Inputs to formal evaluation for applicants who hold the position
of principal, primary school, Class III will be provided by:
( i ) applicant
( ii ) superintendent
(iii) a second superintendent may be nominated. Alternatively a
principal holding a higher status than the applicant with
whom the applicant has had recent (2 or 3 years) close
professional contact may be nominated
(iv) a colleague who has worked as a subordinate with the
applicant in the last 3 years (applicant nominates 3).
(b) Inputs to formal evaluation for applicants who hold a position
other than principal, primary school. Class III will be provided by:
( i i ) superintendent
(iii) principal of the school, but where this is not practicable a
second aupintendent may be nominated
(iv) a colleague who has worked as a subordinate with the
applicant in the last 3 years (applicant nominates 3).
Deputy Principal. High and Senior High Schools
Teachers in the following categories who have an approved degree and a
Teacher's Higher Certificate are eligible to apply for promotion by
merit based on formal evaluation for deputy principal, high and senior
high schools in 1986 for 1987.
(i) master/mistress, with a minimum of 10 years' teacliin^
Er|c - -
(ii) senior master/senior mistress
(iii) deputy principal (secondary) district high school
(iv) principal, district high school, Class II (secondary
Inputs to Formal Evaluation
Inputs to formal evaluation will be provided by:
(ii) superintendent (secondary)
(iii) principal, or in the case of applicants who are principals of
district high schools. Class II, a second superintendent
(iv) two colleagues: one a teacher in a non-promotional position; the
other a peer (applicant noi^inates two of each).
Additional Points for Consideration
The forms used for formal evaluation for the categories listed
above will contain a teaching component in addition to categories on
the existing forms used ir 1985.
All superordinate formal evaluations will be open and applicants
will have the opportunity to provide further comment. Applicants will
receive copies of superordinate evaluations. Peer and i^ubordin.ite
reports will be confidential to the Board.
The working party also socks the views of teachers on the
desirability of removing the requirement for state-wide applications
for ^^ex linked positions (deputy principals) in Phase B of the
promotion by merit system which will be introduced in 1986 for 1987.
Promotion by merit to the positon of Deputy Principal High/Senior
HiRh, Principal district High Class II. Primary Class II
The Statement should serve as a guide to referees when deciding on
ratings (in section E of the assessment form - see Page 4). Each
attribute listed in Section E is briefly described below. It is not
intended that the description should be regarded as exhaustive. The
purpose is to provide a common basis for evaluating the important
qualities required of persons seeking promotion by merit to Principal.
Quality of the teacher's relationship with students. Factors to be
considered include :
empathy and rapport with students
- 205 -
ability to develop in students a constructive approach to
response to student needs
respect for and development of students; self-worth
Planning and preparation. Factors to be considered include:
evidence of thoughtful planning and preparation
maintenance of appropriate student records provision for
diagnostic, remedial and enrichment activities
use of appropriate resources
Teaching skills. Factors to be considered include:
maintaining the interest and attention of students
clarity of explanations and directions
use of sound questioning techniques
provision for student participation in lessons
provision in teaching strategies for different levels of student
use of content and .^^xamples meaningful in local context
use of language appropriate to student level of development.
Classroom Management. Teacher achieves:
routines for effective teaching
orderly transition from one activity to another
effective supervision of all pupils whilst working with
individuals or groups
positive, fair and consistent discipline
flexibility in dealing with different situations and pupil
rofessional qualities. The teacher demonstrates:
commitment to and enthusiasm for teaching
awareness of new developments and issues in education
involvement in the corporate life of the school
commitment to the development of a caring school environment
intellectual awareness and growth
- 206 -
appropriate use of language*
Effective leaders are good decision-makers. Aspect to be considered
establishes procedures that allow members of the school community
with interest and expertise to participate in collective decision-
promotes a sense of togetherness (team building).
Achieving workable decisions
takes into account the views of staff, parents, students,
employers and the wider community
seeks ideas from other as well as proposing new ideas.
Achieving effective implementation
Sets goals that are realistic in that they take account of the context
in which they must be achieved and recognise the level and nature of
the resources available.
Delegating authority effectively
Ensures that t^ose members of the school community expected to
implement de>'. isions know what is expected and have the
resources/ability to carry them through.
School leadership and management skills
Communication with staff and parents
ensures that channels exist for effective communication in both
directions (newsletters, parent nijhts, staff meetings,
circulation of minutes from meetings)
ensures that the school community is Kept informed of school
activities and educational issues
encourages and welcomes informal discussions
demonstrates concern for the intellectual, physical , social and
emotional well-being of staff and students.
Setting and achieving educational goals
awareness of the 'Structures needed to develop democratic
decision-making in schools
- 207 -
ensures that goals are democratically determined within the
context of the Education Act and Regulations
utilizes the different skills and abilities of the school
community to achieve goals
provides leadership in at least some aspects of school curriculum
contributes where necessary to the development of the skills
needed to be an active participant in school decision-making.
Staff utilisation and supervision
ensures that staff are kept abreast of educational change through
inservice provision and generally are involved in professional
demonstrates an awareness of the extra talents and knowledge of
staff and ensures the full range of talents and resources
available to the school is used
exhibits a style of supervision that encourages a posi tive
commitment from staff to the educational goals of the school
ensures the most efficient use of strengths of the various
members of the school community.
Effective contribution to the management of school finances and
demonstrates well developed management, and administrative skills
in the use of internal and external financial and other resources
available to the school
ensures that school resources are well used.
- 208 -
RESOURCES AND PAPERS PRODUCED BY THE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT OF
WESTERN AUSTRALIA ON GENDER EQUITY IN EDUCATION
Policy & Program Documents
Policy from the Director-General's Office, Equality in Education
with Particular Reference to Women and GirJs,No, 23 (May 1980),
Women in Education , (1981) Report of the Women in Education
Women in Education: Uomen in Transition. (1982) Report of the Women
in Education Conference.
Women in Education : Uomen as role Models for Girls' Education*
(1983) Report of the Women in Education Conference.
liomen in Education: Women and Girls in a Technological Society.
(1984) Report of the Women in Education Conference.
Informal Issue and Discussion Paper s
Commentary on the Beazley Report as it Applies to the Equal
Opportunity Branch. (March 1984) Equal Opportunity Branch.
Issues' Arising from the ncGaw Report. (March 1984) Equal
Issues Arising from the Participation of Women in PEP: A Submission
to the liestern Australian State PEP Advisory Council. (August 1984)
Equal Opportunity Branch.
Iwpl ications for the School Systems of Anti-Discrimination
Legi slation. (January 1985) Background paper for the Australian
Education Council Meeting.
Implications for the Education Department of WA of Sex Discrimination
Legislation. (October 1984) A circular to schools, Equal Opportunity
United Nations Convention on the El imination of all Forms of
Discrimination Against Women. (October 1984) Report of the Education
Department of WA, Equal Opportunity Branch.
Summary of the Australian Youth Employment Review as it Relates to
Girls' Employment. (March 1985) Equal Opportunity Branch.
Boys nuscle in on Computers. (March 1985) Equal Opportunity Branch.
ERIC - 209 -
Brown, S.K. & Fitzpatrick, J. Gxrls, Boys and Subject Choice. (June
1981) Discussion Paper No. 11, Research Branch, Education Department
Brown, S.K. The Sex Factor in the Selection of Intellectually
Talented Youth. (1983) SSPP Evaluation, Report No. 2, Research
Branch, Education Department of WA.
Brown S.K. & Fitzpatrick, J. Breaking the Sex Stereotype Circle.
(1983) SET, (1).
Resources for Schools
New Options for West Australian . (1985) Resource Booklet for
students of men's and women's non-traditional occupations. Equal
This Ccvld be Your Daughter. (1983) A pamphlet for parents about
career op^jons for girls. Equal Opportunity Branch.
School, Wor/c, Fa.nily: The Facts. (1985) A data resource for schools
on tii3 role of worsen in society. Equal Opportunity Branch.
Girls' Education: \9oinen*s Lives. A Year 8 social studies unit on
equal opportunities for everyone. Wanneroo Senior High School.
Women and the Changing yiorkforce . Resource for Secondary School
teachers. Governor Stirling Senior High School.
Curriculum Resource for Teachers to Mark the End of United Nations
Decade for Women. A pamphlet with across-the-curriculum ideas for
primary and secondary teachers.
"Shai". Newsletter of the Equal Opportunity Branch, WA Education
Department (3 publications per year).
New Options for West Australians . A video tape to accompany the
booklet of the same name, 1984.
It's a Girls' World Too. (1983) A video tape produced by the Audio-
Visual Branch of the WA Education Department in conjunction with the
Equal Opportunity Branch.
Life Cycle of a Woma/;. (1981) A video tape produced by the Audio-
Visual Lranch of the WA Education Department in conjunction with TAFE
West Ed Report; Equai Opportunity. (July 1985) A video produced by
the Audio-Visual Branch for public TV examining contensious issues in
equal opportunity policy.
- 210 -
Publications/Resources in Preparation
New Directions in Educatiom »omen*3 role and Influence. (1985)
Report of the Women in Education Conference.
Person to Person: The Gender Code and Interpersonal Dynamics at the
Primary School Level. A Commonwealth Schools Commission Project of
National Significance to stimulate and support school-based teacher
development. Completion Date: April 1986.
A set of four posters for schools advertising Gender Equity Issues.
Completion Date: July 1985.
A set of four stickers (for students and staffs cJvertisfng Gender
Equity Issues. Completion Date: August 1985.
The Single Sex Option. An issue paper exploring the idea of single
sex classes within a co-education setting. Completion Date: August
Educating Your Daughter. A booklet for parents. A joint project of
the Women's Advisory Council and the Equal Opportunity Branch, WA
Education Department. Completion Date: December, 1985.
^\r^^^^^^^^ Community Education Centre, Warragul