RT Vol XV: CH 5: Critical Perspective on Selection Practices in Texas Community Colleges
From the Book: The Refractive Thinker® Vol XV: Non Profits: Strategies for Effective Management


An analysis of women aspiring to higher levels of educational leadership revealed their experiences and perceptions of fairness in selection practices. Senior women leaders expressed a variety factors limiting career progression. Trends and consistent patterns mirrored behaviors thwarting progress. For example, gender inequity is prevalent in the organizational culture and stereotypes marginalizing women into positions with little or no authority or influence regarding decisions affecting the departments in which they worked. Although policies are written and designed to provide inclusion in higher education, the implementation and application of equitably policies and practices posed barriers to women not discussed in previous research (Yancy-Tooks, 2012). Researchers agreed that barriers in the community college environment persisted and coping strategies were a means of survival (Chock, 2007; Fisher, 2008; Williams, 2009). Women relied upon coping strategies such as spiritual guidance, family support systems, preparedness and mentoring. Women described mentoring as the most meaningful tool for maintaining focus and motivation. This critical reflection and refractive thinking approach on African American women’s experiences and perceptions of selection practices in higher education showed the resolve of women to overcome barriers and to succeed through coping strategies, preparedness and determination. The research findings demonstrate the need for a closer examination of selection practices to support the inclusion of African American women in top leadership positions.
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