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Vol. 19 (2005 Fall)

Re-Constructing the Leadership Model of Social Justice for African-American Women in Education

  • Mary L. Grimes
June 19, 2017


The mainstream epistemology about women in educational leadership roles has been constructed, canonized, and theorized from a white hegemonic female perspective. The early literature about women as leaders include The Managerial Woman (Henning & Jardim, 1977); Men and Women of the Corporation (Kanter, 1977); Paths to Power (Josefowitz, 1980); The Androgynous Manager (Sargent, 1981); Women and Men as Leaders (Heller, 1982); In a Different Voice (Gilligan, 1982); and Feminine Leadership (Loden, 1985). This literature suggests that women lead from a different frame of reference due to their socialization process. Because of male dominated managerial customs that exist in the workplace, in some instances, they experience obstacles to leadership. Recent mainstream white female scholars like Shakeshaft (1989) and Bensimon (1989) suggest that the feminist perspective is not recognized in the leadership literature. Shakeshaft posits that women's leadership experiences are generalized into one category and that the leadership discussion appears androcentric in nature. Bensimon (1989) suggests that the prevailing leadership theories do not take into account that "women experience the social world differently than men do and that this translates into a particular epistemology and a particular translates into a different experience of leadership. gender must be taken into consideration" (Bensimon, 1989, p. 146).