Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Rachelle Kisst Hackett

First Committee Member

Delores McNair

Second Committee Member

Laura Hallberg

Third Committee Member

Linda Skrla


Less than 25% of superintendent positions, the highest level of educational leadership, are occupied by women. This is in sharp contrast to the fact that over 75% of the nation’s teaching force are women. A significant barrier cited in the literature is that there is a deficiency in the support needed for women to successfully promote into higher-level administrative positions. Although mentoring has been shown to be key factor for female administrators’ success in educational administration, this study provides quantitative data to demonstrate the need for quality mentoring opportunities for school site administrators.The purpose of this research study was to examine associations between the quality of mentoring relationships and school administrators’ competency in instructional leadership, specifically as perceived by female educational leaders in contrast to male educational leaders. While there is research to support that mentoring provides many benefits for new administrators and evidence that school site administrators must possess competency in the area of instructional leadership, research investigating the potential impact of mentoring on the instructional leadership effectiveness of educational administrators is limited.

This quantitative study utilized multiple regression analyses and found evidence to suggest that the quality of the mentoring experience is related to instructional leadership effectiveness based on self-reports of educational school site leaders. Moreover, when the relationships were investigated by gender, an association was found for women, but not for men.

Additional analyses based on gender pairings of mentee with mentor also revealed gender-specific differences. When measuring overall instructional leadership effectiveness, and the Principal Instructional Management Rating Scale dimension of developing the school learning climate, there was evidence to suggest that the gender of the mentor may matter for male mentees although there was insufficient evidence to suggest that the gender of the mentor mattered for female mentees. Collectively, the findings of this study provide quantitative data to demonstrate the need for quality mentoring opportunities for school site administrators, particularly for female educational leaders in the area of instructional leadership effectiveness. Additional research is needed to determine whether the gender differences observed in this sample are replicable, and if so, to better understand their source and possible strategies to reduce them.



Available for download on Sunday, December 04, 2022