Reducing gender inequality in educational leadership positions in Azerbaijan to advance socio-economic development in the country.

  • Giannakaki, Stefania (PI)

Project Details


Women represent 78% of Azerbaijani secondary school teachers and only 32% of principals. This pilot study aimed to examine the experiences of women who successfully took up a senior leadership position in secondary schools in Baku and in surrounding villages, as well as their perceptions of the effect of gender on their career progression. More specifically, the study explored female school leaders':
(a) career paths and work experiences; (b) encountered obstacles & ways of overcoming these; (c) work-life balance; (d) leadership styles; and (e) views and experiences of gender discrimination. 
A mixed methodology was employed, including a questionnaire survey with 107 female senior leaders (Principals and Vice Principals) from 36 secondary schools and semi-structured interviews with 10 leaders. 

Key findings

Research findings showed that:

(a) Women in leadership positions tended to be the main housekeepers and carers of family members for extended periods of time during their careers.
(b) Female leaders did not appear to have experienced gender discrimination in their career progression. There were no explicit (structural) barriers in the school system for women becoming leaders.
(c) However, a male-dominated culture was apparent, affecting their careers in indirect (subtle) ways.
(d) Female leaders were relationship-oriented in their leadership styles, yet centralised and authoritative in decision-making. Younger women were less participative in decision-making (30-39 years) than other age groups.
(e) Female leaders enjoyed their work and appreciated the learning coming from it.

Further details on research results are included in the attached file.
Effective start/end date15/02/201731/07/2017


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