Beyond Mentoring: Women Superintendents Blaze New Pathways

Oakland Unified School District Kyla Johnson-Trammell, Transcend Superintendent in Residence Susana Cordova, Laramie 1 Superintendent Margaret Crespo, DC Office State Superintendent Christina Grant, and ILO Group CEO Julia Rafal-Baer at the 2023 ASU+GSV Summit.

Large corporations and institutions spend enormous amounts of time, money, and stakeholder capital focused on diversity, equity and inclusion and the word we hear more often than any other is “mentorship.” For under-represented communities, mentorship is inadequate. They need sponsors and allies who are willing to use their power to clear a seat at the table, invest resources in the growth, development, and networking, and blaze new pathways for women and people of color who already have the credentials, experience and perspective required to lead. This is most urgently needed in education where the overwhelming majority of the workforce is made up of women but more than 70 percent of districts are led by men - a gap that is widening according to research by the ILO Group, a women-founded business with national expertise in education.

Our panel - moderated by Dr. Julia Rafal-Baer, co-founder and managing partner of ILO Group, former assistant commissioner for the NYS Education Department, and a board member of the National Assessment Governing Board - will explore the real steps organizations need to take to shift from mentorship to sponsorship to fully embrace the commitment companies, agencies, leagues, and other institutions have publicly made to be more diverse and more inclusive.