Karen Edge is the Pro Vice Provost (International) at University College London (UCL) and Reader in Educational Leadership at the UCL Institute of Education in London, UK. Karen is an academic and advocate committed to asking new questions to shake up how policy and educational leaders think about educational opportunities and challenges. Karen’s latest international research project was funded by the ESRC (UK) and engaged 60+ Generation X school leaders in London, New York and Toronto in exploring their careers, leadership and future aspirations. She is a member of the six-person Advisory Panel for International School Leadership Principals and a visiting academic in Canada, Malaysia and Chile. Karen is Past Editor-in-Chief of Educational Assessment Evaluation and Accountability and sits on the Editorial Boards of School Leadership and Management and Leadership and Policy in Schools. Karen regularly gives talks and support organizations in relation to knowledge management, leadership, networks, talent spotting, retention and wellbeing. Karen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @drkarenedge
In this interview, which is part of an Esteem series focusing on the public scholarship of women in education leadership, Dr. Edge shares how her current research has helped her to see the importance of role modeling and talent spotting for women in education. Edge believes that we are seeing a new willingness to make conversations around these and other topics more public, which can help us to move forward in a way that’s better for everybody:
Conversations about women in leadership used to be about what women needed to do to be seen as the leaders. I think we are now entering an age where the conversation needs to shift to what are things that are happening in the system that may be institutionally getting in the way of women being successful? But it’s not just women. We also need to consider how the experience of a white woman, a white straight woman, would be radically different than a woman who identifies as LGBT or a person of color. Not all experiences are the same and we need all leaders in our education systems for them to be successful. This is not happening, in my opinion, to the extent necessary at the moment.