Women's perceptions of vertical career mobility in educational administrative positions in selected provinces in Canada

Sharon A. Crabb

Abstract

The numerous barriers negatively impacting women's vertical career mobility are well documented in the literature, coupled with strategies for cracking or possibly removing the glass ceiling. These strategies include developing networks, associating with a mentor, obtaining the necessary qualifications and experience, being visible, and informing others of your administrative aspirations. One of the avenues women have utilized for implementing these strategies has been attendance at a leadership assessment centre. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between women's perception of vertical career mobility and their actual vertical career mobility while simultaneously considering factors such as age, marital status, children, qualifications, experience, and association with a mentor. The subjects in this study were 85 women who had attended a leadership assessment centre between 1984 and 1996 in the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick or Ontario. Multiple regression analysis was used to test the hypotheses. The instrument used in this study consisted of demographical information, four open-ended research questions, a career growth rating indicator, and a Questionnaire for a Study of the Upward Mobility of Female Administrators in Higher Education. Although the composite set of variables was not significant in predicting the perception of vertical career mobility, magnitude of effect accounted for 25.9% of the variability being explained. Those variables accounting for 17.8% of the magnitude of effect were length of association with a mentor, certification level, marital status, and highest degree completed.