Gender scripts reflect the roles individuals are shaped to play via forces of culture, social organization, and power dynamics. Blackmore (2002) presents a set of eight gender scripts for women in educational administration that are both “complex and contradictory” (p. 56):
· Being Strong: This script expects a woman to show strength in the face of adversity, discrimination, and resistance, and while retaining a good nature and a “niceness” throughout.
· Superwoman: This script calls upon the woman to be all things to all people no matter the personal cost.
· Leadership over Love: This script recalls the spinster teacher of nineteenth century lore who satisfied her maternal instinct by caring for other people’s children.
· Postmodernist: Women are seen as good change agents in organizations, outside of male networks and peripheral to the dominant culture.
· Women’s Style of Leadership: Women bring a unique skill set including caring, listening, sharing, interpersonal communication strengths and empathic skills.
· Power: Women are powerful because of the knowledge and shared cultural experiences of being female; power is seen as productive rather than repressive.
· Professional Success: This script reads the achievement of women as individual exertions of meritorious hard work.
· Social Male: Women are seen as aggressive, dominant, individualistic, and non-supportive to other women.
Blackmore, J. (2002). Troubling women: The upsides and downsides of leadership and the new managerialism. In C. Reynolds (Ed.), Women and school leadership: International perspectives (pp. 49-69). Albany, SUNY Press.