Dr. Heather Williams


Heather P. Williams, Ph.D, is a department chair, associate professor and program coordinator for Executive Educational Leadership at Boise State University in Boise, Idaho. Her research interests include systems leadership and policy implementation, with an emphasis on improving rural communities. Williams has spent three decades in public education, which includes higher education and her twenty years in P-12 as a superintendent, principal, curriculum director, teacher, coach, and school improvement consultant. She works nationally leading superintendent searches and school improvement consultant work providing training and technical assistance to school system leaders, teachers, communities, and their governing boards.

  • Company Boise State University


Day 1
September 20, 2023
3:30 pm

Addressing Gender Bias in the Rural Superintendency [DEI/WIL]

20 September
Time:  3:30 pm - 4:45 pm
Location:  Tower A

Using data from recent research involving long-serving rural superintendents from Idaho and Michigan, this interactive session will explore issues of gender bias in the rural superintendency. In addition to sharing experiences of women and men superintendents encountering and responding to gender bias, this session will also share data on salary discrepancies between men and women superintendents serving small and rural districts in Idaho and Michigan. The session will engage participants in a robust discussion of the realities faced by women rural superintendents, some indicators of positive change, and strategies to ensure equity in the rural superintendency.

Focus: Small & Rural Districts and Women in Leadership.

Takeaways: Participants in this session will learn more about the salary discrepancies and the lived experiences of men and women superintendents in Idaho and Michigan regarding gender bias. The participants will engage in discussion regarding the information presented, share their personal experiences, and explore strategies to recruit and retain women in the rural superintendency.

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