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Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume III, Issue 1 2014 Race and gender issues. The rules tended to change for women, and again for women of color. Ms. Eason’s story relates here frustration. We hear things that are already not true, but these things we hear are given as reasons for not to hire African American women, and people are not going to directly come out and say because she is a woman we did not hire her, or we hired him because he is a man. Laws supposedly protect us from that type of discrimination. However, the exclusionary practices that actually occur make the laws non-effective. So I say yes, race and gender are barriers to the superintendency for us [African American women and women in general]. Ms. Hilliard agreed I may be naïve, but I think the major one [barrier] has been that districts have not really been open to female superintendents, and especially African American or minority superintendents. The districts that are open for minorities to apply for those positions are generally looking for the male image. We [African American women] kind of hit a glass ceiling when we apply especially as a first-time superintendent because board members will say, well, we need someone that is experienced, and I agree. I would want that person to have experience too. Ms. Barrett concurred I think we also have to understand that, yes; there are some barriers out there. I think that very definitely being an African American woman is a double whammy. I honestly do. And I am not saying that as an excuse either because I am an African American woman that has achieved superintendency, but I do think it is a double whammy. I think that we would be disillusioned if we perceived that others perceived us as being on equal footing. Everybody knows we know there are barriers that exist because of the color of our skin and our gender. There still are, and very much so, barriers out there because of our race and gender and there are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. It might be subtle, but it is there. And, if you study it close enough, you will see that it is there. I see the looks. I see the shifting; I saw and experienced a whole lot of things. Oh yes, these barriers were there for me. Relocation Issues. The majority of women in this study had families that were rooted in these communities, and it was difficult for them to pack up everything and leave. Although all participants believed their hiring chances would improve if they were willing to search statewide for a superintendent position, Ms. Dalton one of two remaining applicants in a search, withdrew her name because it was too far for her to drive. She offered: I had a good chance of acquiring a position as superintendent, but the location was too far for me to drive. I could not move. My children are in school here and my husband works here [an adjacent town]. This is home. It would be practically impossible for me to live there and come home on the weekends. My life is not built that way. Similarly, Barrett added: One of the other barriers is my reluctance to relocate. I’m really pretty much bound to this general vicinity and because I am, there’s not a whole heck of a lot of superintendent jobs around here One other barrier that I will have is that I won’t just work anywhere just to get a promotion. I have to work somewhere 30

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