Facebook Pixel

Get research-informed strategies to meet your school community's unique needsLearn more >>

Free Reproducibles

Step In, Step Up

Empowering Women for the School Leadership Journey

Women have incredible potential to drive change in education if they step up to lead at all levels. In Step In, Step Up, authors Jane A. G. Kise and Barbara K. Watterston guide current and aspiring women leaders through a twelve-week leadership journey. An assortment of activities, reflection prompts, and stories empower readers to overcome gender barriers to female leadership and engage in opportunities to learn, grow, and lead within their school communities.

This book will inspire you to step into educational leadership with confidence:

  • Examine the need for women in leadership positions at schools and districts.
  • Consider your own leadership identity and learn where to make adjustments.
  • Feel empowered to overcome gender barriers, female stereotypes, and the double bind experienced by women in leadership roles.
  • Gain tools and strategies for creating an action plan for effective instructional leadership in schools.
  • Learn about hard and soft leadership skills and their value in educational leadership.
  • Complete reflection activities to reinforce learning and professional leadership development.

Get your copy today

Swimming in the Deep End

Buy now


Introduction: The Why and How of Women’s Leadership Journey
Chapter 1: Engaging Women in School Leadership
Chapter 2: Navigating Gender Barriers
Chapter 3: Finding Time for the Leadership Journey
Chapter 4: Readying Yourself for Stepping Up
Chapter 5: Taking the Path to Maturity
Chapter 6: Knowing Your Hardwired Strengths
Chapter 7: Challenging Your High-Flying and Limiting Beliefs
Chapter 8: Exploring Emotional Intelligence
Chapter 9: Making Yourself Heard
Chapter 10: Finding the Courage for Tough Conversations
Chapter 11: Encouraging More Women to Lead
Chapter 12: Crafting Your Identity as a Female Leader




  • Abrams, J. (2019). Swimming in the Deep End: Four Foundational Skills for Leading Successful School Initiatives. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  • Conzemius, A. E., & O’Neill, J. (2014). The Handbook for SMART School Teams: Revitalizing Best Practices for Collaboration (2nd ed.). Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  • Kise, J. A. G. (2019). Holistic Leadership, Thriving Schools: Twelve Lessons to Balance Priorities and Serve the Whole Student. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 11

Chapter 12