Between Venus and Mars: Sources of gender differences in instructional leadership

Haim Shaked, Zehavit Gross, Jeffrey Glanz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Instructional leadership can be explained as an educational leadership approach whereby the school principal engages in a wide range of activities aiming to improve teaching and learning for all students. A recent meta-analysis found that female principals engaged in more active instructional leadership than male counterparts. The current qualitative study sought to understand this gender gap. Data were collected through 59 semi-structured interviews with 36 female principals and 23 male principals from Israel. Data analysis was a four-stage process – condensing, coding, categorizing, and theorizing. Findings showed that female participants, more frequently than their male counterparts, reported possessing two capabilities that are necessary for instructional leadership: (1) instructional expertise; (2) attention to relationships. Gender theories are employed to explain these findings. Practical implications and further research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-309
Number of pages19
JournalEducational Management Administration and Leadership
Issue number2
Early online date28 Aug 2017
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2019


  • Gender differences
  • instructional leadership
  • leadership
  • principals

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Strategy and Management


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