Women in management positions in Maseru high schools

Shale, Nthabiseng Lydia
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This study aimed at investigating perceptions about women in management positions in the L esotho schooling system in Maseru. The perceptions o f three categories o f people were investigated: wom en in positions o f management, their female subordinates and their male subordinates. The perceptions o f women in management positions were in terms o f their management styles, their relationship with their subordinates, discrimination and their dual roles o f family and career. The perceptions o f the subordinates, both male and female, about their women principals were in terms o f their management styles and their relationship with them, as staff. Three methods o f data collection were employed: interviews, questionnaires and observation. D ata from women principals were collected in the form o f career history interviews, while data from both male and female subordinates were collected through questionnaires. Both the principals and their staff were observed in staff meetings. The study discovered that there is no distinct style o f management followed by women, as this depends on the character o f an individual and on the management situation. It also revealed that as far as the relationship between women principals and their subordinates is concerned, women principals get m ost o f their support from male staff as opposed to female staff. It was also discovered that even though sometimes their subordinates doubt their potential as principals, they are not discriminated against. Their dual roles o f family and work do not appear to have any negative impact on their job. One reason is that the job itself requires time management skills. While these findings confirm some o f aspects o f similar research conducted in other parts o f the world, they challenge other aspects o f international research. Since the study was limited to Maseru, its findings cannot be generalised to the rest o f Lesotho.