Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Carla Sparks

Second Advisor

Kerri Becker


The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the perceived barriers faced by 15 Hispanic women who were current or aspiring educational leaders or employed in K-12 public education. This research highlights the underrepresentation of Hispanic female leaders in American K-12 schools compared to that of Hispanic students, the fastest growing minority population in the United States. The study incorporates the literature supporting the importance of diversity among women leaders in education. The pertinent literature identifies historical barriers to diverse representation among educational leaders and emphasizes the value of mentoring for Hispanic female leaders in terms of strengthening representation at the higher tiers of educational leadership positions. This study inquired into the lived experiences of female Hispanic educational leaders with a focus on how culture, language, and gender affected their ascent into educational leadership and teaching positions. The findings of this study suggest that perceived barriers were directly and indirectly attributed to being Hispanic, while institutional, gender, and cultural factors hindered as well as enhanced career aspirations.