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TCEA 2022: 5 Things Women Should Know About Advancing in K–12 IT Leadership Roles

TCEA 2022: 5 Things Women Should Know About Advancing in K–12 IT Leadership Roles

A diverse panel of women in K–12 IT share their unusual paths to technology leadership and strategies for expanding their small club.

by Taashi Rowe

 

In the overwhelmingly female-centric field of K–12 education, there is one path that has a vanishingly small number of women: IT and IT leadership. In its 2021 survey of K–12 IT leaders, the Consortium for School Networking found that only 28 percent of its members were women.

With this as a backdrop, teachers, instructional education specialists and IT team members — both women and men — participated in a TCEA 2022 panel discussion on how to expand the pool of women in line for leadership positions.

Panelist and former K–12 CTO Frankie Jackson noted that the low number of women in K–12 IT leadership roles accurately reflects the wider IT industry, where men outnumber women in corporate jobs 3 to 1. She encouraged attendees to work to change the mindsets that may prevent more women from going into the field.

Panelist Shawnteè Cowan, CTO of Mansfield Independent School District in Texas, found herself in the unusual position of leading a department where half her network team members are women, with a female lead technician. She said that while this gives her a larger pool of women to pull from and promote to leadership positions, the field still needs more women.

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