Transnational women in globalised times: exploring glass ceilings, glass walls and other fragile metaphors of leading education

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This paper explores the experiences of transnational women educators, who lead in education institutions in globally imbricated home and host schooling contexts, focusing on how they negotiate glass ceilings and borders in their work and their life choices. The purpose is to extend scholarship on women in educational leadership, which is often framed as a binary of national and international scales, thereby omitting large numbers of educators who work and exist transnationally. Women continue to represent a large portion of the education profession globally, whose roots and routes criss-cross over national borders defining them in the process as transnational. Yet there remains a dearth of research addressing their experiences as transnational women educators, and in educational leadership positions in particular. This study uses narratives of transnational women to explore the professional life and personal reflections of six women who have worked across diverse school leadership roles. The findings of the study highlight the simultaneity of women’s lives and leadership practice across borders, and indicates scope for further research to move beyond binarised understandings of space.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalGlobalisation, Societies and Education
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023


  • glass walls‌
  • globalisation
  • Transnational women
  • transnationalism
  • women in educational leadership

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