New Analysis: Gender Gaps Exist in K-12 School Technology Leadership

Data Released by CoSN from 2014 IT Leadership Survey Raises Important Questions Surrounding Equity for Women in Leadership Roles
Washington, DC
Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Washington, DC (September 17, 2014) – While women are better educated and have more experience, men earn more money and hold the majority of leadership positions in K-12 district technology leadership. This is the central finding from CoSN’s (Consortium for School Networking’s) new analysis released today examining K-12 IT leadership by gender.

CoSN’s data, which are based on a subsample of its 2014 K-12 IT Leadership Survey, start to address the issue of fairness, compensation and leadership for women in K-12 technology.

“Our findings reveal that, despite equity gains in recent years across industry sectors, gender disparity and bias exist right in our nation’s schools,” said Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN. “The results should open the eyes of our school leadership and communities to the inequality with which many women technology leaders compete against in the field. At a minimum, this issue merits further research and action to ensure women are fully represented and treated fairly throughout their professional careers in K-12 education and elsewhere.”

The survey analysis drew the following results:

  • Representation. Women are less represented in K-12 IT leadership positions than men. Sixty-six percent of those surveyed identified themselves as men, whereas just 34 percent were women.
  • Earnings. Women in K-12 IT leadership positions earn less than men. Forty-eight percent of men earn $100,000 or more, whereas 36 percent of women earn that amount. At the low end of the pay scale, 15 percent of men earn under $70,000 versus 26 percent of women.  
  • Job titles. Women in K-12 IT leadership positions have less prestigious titles than men. Compared to 15 percent of men, nearly one-quarter of women titles suggest intermediate positions, including manager, coordinator, school technology leader, or a director title. Additionally, compared to 63 percent of women, nearly three-quarters of men possess higher designations, such as chief technology officer, chief information officer, or district technology officer.
  • Educational attainment. Women in K-12 IT leadership positions have higher levels of education than men. Seventy-nine percent of women in school district leadership positions have graduate degrees compared to 68 percent of men.
  • Experience. Women have been in the K-12 IT field longer and held their positions longer than men. Eighty-five percent of women in school district leadership roles have 10 or more years of industry experience, compared to 73 percent of men.

Read the full analysis here.

For more information about CoSN’s IT Leadership Survey, please visit:

About CoSN

CoSN is the premier professional association for school system technology leaders. The mission of CoSN is to empower educational leaders to leverage technology to realize engaging learning environments. Visit or call 866-267-08747 to find out more about CoSN’s focus areas, annual conference and events, advocacy and policy, membership and the CETL certification exam.

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