While nearly three-quarters of all school teachers in New York are women, these numbers drop significantly when considering higher levels of school leadership.
Currently, women hold just 27% of school superintendent positions, 60% of elementary principal positions and 32% of secondary school principal positions in the state. These numbers are substantially lower for women of color.
To help address this, Capital Region BOCES and the New York State Association for Women in Administration (NYSAWA) have teamed up to offer executive coaching services through Tenshey, Inc.
Created by women for women, the program seeks to create greater gender diversity within school districts and BOCES administrative teams and, inevitably, improve the education all students receive.
NYSAWA members can take part in one of two coach programs designed to help women find their voice and success in traditionally male-dominated professions as educational leadership.
“The experiences and perceptions of women are critical components to our educational system, and yet they are largely underrepresented at the decision-making table,” said Capital Region BOCES District Superintendent Anita Murphy. “As we look for new and greater ways to demonstrate our commitment to diversity and inclusion in our schools, starting with our leadership teams is critical. This program aims to address that need.”
Registration for the next coaching cohort opens May 18
Aspiring and current women leaders can choose from two different coaching programs: the first, designed to help develop essential skills for these roles, the other, built to help those already in executive roles boost their careers through coaching and assessments.
Programming for both levels of the women’s executive coaching program will begin July 1, 2022. Registration opens May 18, 2022 and closes on June 30, 2022.
What others say about the program
Participants in the fall/winter 2021 Women’s Executive Coaching initiative cohorts had this to say about the benefits of the program and lessons learned:
On making and fostering connections with other women leaders:
“[This] was my first women’s event. I realized how great it was to connect with women in leadership. It opened my eyes to things I feel, and they instantly got it. I was surprised by how comfortable it made me feel in my own skin. It’s a feeling of being an imposter, especially for women in underrepresented roles in leadership. I don’t have to code switch.”
On the benefits of gaining certification and training:
“Take advantage or make use of certification or training you can get your hands on. Women in leadership roles, especially in public schools, are starting out already behind the ball. Generally, it’s male dominated leadership in schools. For [women who feel] like they need to [be] overqualified, putting yourself out there always feels risky.”