Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)



First Advisor

Colette Taylor

Second Advisor

Viviane Lopuch

Third Advisor

Brian Taberski


Even with women outnumbering men in obtaining graduate and professional degrees in educational leadership, the representation between women and men in higher level positions such as principalships, district office executives, and superintendencies remains incongruent. Consequently, this incongruency is further exacerbated when we look beyond women as a monolith and see that women of color, and more specifically Latina women are significantly underrepresented in comparison to their counterparts and the population that they represent. Through using a qualitative phenomenological approach, the researcher explored intersectional factors in relation to the participants multiple identities. Accordingly, the purpose of this study was to provide insight into Latina educational leaders lived experiences in K-12 settings to deepen the understanding between identity, role, and leadership. Participants were established through the researchers’ current participation and network with the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS) and a graduate of the National Principal Leadership Academy (NPLA). Consequently, by centering the lived experiences of Latina women that hold higher level positions such as principals, district office executives, and superintendencies it allowed for a grounded lens in which Latino Critical Race theory (LatCrit), Social Identity theory, Role Incongruity theory, and Psychological Capital (PsyCap) theory explored the relationship between leadership and identity. Findings reflected the cultural and societal impact of Latina educational leaders’ underrepresentation in K-12 education and the significance of mentors, networking, leadership development, amplifying voices and positive visibility. Keywords: Latina, women, leadership, higher level, lived experiences, identity, incongruent, underrepresentation, role.