Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Summers, Kelly H.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations (LEPF)


Background/Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine how lived experiences influenced perceptions of leadership self-efficacy amongst Black, Indigenous, or Person of Color (BIPOC) women educational leaders in order to minimize future representation gaps in educational leadership. Methods: Qualitative interviews were conducted with 14 BIPOC cis-gender female leaders who worked in a large school district in the southwestern region of the United States. Results: Examining the social constructs of race, gender, leadership makes clear how BIPOC women are socially constructed as inferior and how that played out in this educational leadership settings. The interconnectedness of both approaches contributes to explaining the representation gap of Black, Indigenous, or Person of Color (BIPOC) women in educational leadership positions. Conclusions: The actions of society indicate a vast acceptance of the ideology that women are subjugated to men. And if you are identified as part of a marginalized group, such as BIPOC women, you are subordinate to multiple groups. Representation gaps are the evidence of the pervasiveness of this ideology. Representation gaps are characterized by a difference in ethno-racial participation under circumstances that are comparable among subgroups. Representation gaps are complex social phenomenon. Such gaps exist in most sectors of society, including educational leadership. In the context of educational leadership, the representation gap is substantially based on race and gender, particularly for women who identify as Black, Indigenous, or as a Person of Color (BIPOC). Keywords: Black, Indigenous, Person of Color (BIPOC), Educational Leadership, Representation Gap, Self- Efficacy, Leadership Self-Efficacy, Social Constructs


76 pages




Northern Illinois University

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