What ‘Barbie’ Teaches Us About School Leadership

In public schools today, staffs of mostly female teachers are led by a staff of disproportionately male leadership. Seventy-seven percent of public school teachers are women, while only 56 percent of public school principals are female. There is even less pink in America’s district offices; only 28 percent of superintendents are women.

Barbie, in the movie and the box, represents limitless dreams for young girls: astronauts, chefs, doctors, and, yes, even teachers. Barbie’s never-ending professions and interests aren’t just fun; they are purposeful. Mattel, the owner of Barbie, identifies a “dream gap,” where girls as young as 5 “begin to develop self-limiting beliefs and think they’re not as smart and capable as boys.”

What if we dreamed big to close the dream gap?

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