Factors influencing female teachers’ progression into leadership positions in public secondary schools in Trans-nzoia east district, Kenya
The purpose of the study was to investigate the factors influencing female teachers’ progression to leadership position in public secondary schools in Trans- Nzoia East District, Kenya, The objectives were to assess female teachers’ academic qualification, cultural beliefs, female teachers’ attitude towards leadership roles and gender roles in relation to their progression into leadership of public secondary schools in the district. The study was based on the equity theory of leadership which attempts to explain relational satisfaction in terms of perceptions of fair distribution of resources within interpersonal relationship. The study adopted a descriptive survey design. The target population of the study comprised of 52 public secondary schools, 52 principals, 408 teachers and 1 Educational Officer. The sample size comprised of 14 mixed public secondary schools in Trans-Nzoia East district. A sample of 1 DEO, 14 principals and 130 teachers was used for the study. An interview guide for the DEO and two questionnaires were used to collect data. Test- retest method was used to test the reliability of the tools. All the 14 head teachers’ questionnaires (100%) and 130 teachers questionnaires (95.6%) were returned. Thus, a questionnaire return rate of 96% was achieved which was deemed very good for data analysis. The major findings of the study revealed that there were ten male principals (71.8%) and four female principals (28.2%). The study findings also indicated that academic qualification and experience are no longer a hindrance to women appointment to leadership positions in public secondary school. Cultural beliefs, values and practices contribute to low participation of women in leadership in public secondary schools. Gender roles interfere more with women’s performance of school duties as compared to male teachers. The findings further established that female teachers have a negative attitude towards leadership roles and therefore, are reluctant to apply for leadership positions. In the light of the research findings the researcher made the following recommendations; Although social norms and traditional mind-sets are difficult to change over a short time the collaboration efforts involving stakeholders beyond education should be encouraged and sustained for continued progress towards gender equality in the society. The government through the Teachers’ Service Commission should motivate female teachers to leadership through incentives. The Ministry of Education should encourage in-service courses on educational management to create awareness to all teachers on administrative roles. The study suggested that a study should be carried out to investigate the relationship between gender and leadership styles.