A few months ago, I thought maybe I was the only person who noticed the alarming gap in educational leadership roles for women and their lack of prominence in the online education community. I was on twitter one day, chatting with a popular female edublogger/twitter chat host who commented that teachers who blog and have a social media voice must be mindful and humble when we write about what we are doing in our classrooms. I replied that that rule seemed to be more a requisite for women than men. She tweeted back “really?” and broke off the thread abruptly.
Had I stuck my digital foot in my virtual mouth again? I admit to being a bit social-media awkward at times, but did she really think it was rude of me to point out something so obvious? Does she never read the kinds of mansplaining ed blogs and tweets that bombard my feed? Had she not seen the panels of “education experts” or recommendations for “top education blogs/books/writers” with only a token woman or two included?
I retreated from chats organized in the U.S. for a while and reverted to my global network, where there is a lower expectation for positivity and harmony -two qualities I seem to lack.
There, I thankfully discovered @WomenEd. This group is based in the UK and is comprised of a network of women educators working together to promote educational leadership for women.
I believe the post “What Glass Ceiling?” by Helena Marsh marked the group’s inception: http://staffrm.io/@helenamarsh/CvK8GlAvdN
In the post “Welcome to the Ladies Room” http://staffrm.io/@misswilsey/jXmbocF16H Hannah Wilson writes about members meeting to plan an unconference to connect and share.
I wanted to be a part of it. But our leadership and education language differ and the governmental policies that affect us can be a bit different (though also surprisingly the same in many ways). The #WomenEd chats are often at inconvenient times for my Central Standard life and their get-togethers a bit too far for a weekend jaunt – though I’m not ready to rule out a quick trip to London yet 🙂
But in the meantime, I long for a US community aligned with @WomenEd. I want a forum to openly discuss issues related to female teacher-leaders and a network of support to amplify our voice.
And, to my relief, I am beginning to read about the lack of female education leadership more from US writers. Notably, popular blogger Pernille Ripp recently wrote Where are all the female leaders? So perhaps now is our time. Who’s ready and how should we get started? Let’s hear your voice.