Tuesday, 27 December 2016 09:37

Women and Leadership by Beth Pfannl, Bridget McNamer and Pauline O'Brien

This session will review the key findings in What Works for Women at Work by Joan C. Williams and provide opportunities to discuss how the patterns Williams identifies and strategies she recommends play out in different cultures. Both women and men are invited to participate in this workshop.

Women are still a minority in top leadership positions in international schools around the world. Patterns found in gender bias in the workplace resonate with many female and male educators in our schools. Understanding how women can survive and thrive in top educational leadership positions, supports the conference theme of "Transforming Schools through Communities". Learn and discuss some of the unique challenges facing women leaders as well as proven strategies for surmounting those challenges.

This is a panel discussion. One aspect of the discussion would be the issues of recruitment of women to leadership posts.

Beth Pfannl

beth pfannl

Dr. Beth Pfannl, ISS Vice President for Administrative Searches and Governance Services, has 30 years of experience in international education.

She was most recently the long-standing head of the American Overseas School of Rome.

Beth has served on numerous boards and committees including ECIS, the International Schools Advisory Committee of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, and the Paraguayan-American Cultural Center. She is past president of AAIE and the Rome International Schools Association (RISA), and currently serves as a trustee of The American University of Rome. In 2014, Beth was inducted into AAIE’s Hall of Fame and in 2003, she received the National Distinguished Principal Award from the Office of Overseas Schools.

Beth earned her doctorate from the Sorbonne in Paris and her BA from McGill University. She holds a CAGS in School Administration from Rhode Island College.


Bridget McNamer

bridget mcnamer

Bridget McNamer, Senior Associate, Search Associates.

Bridget McNamer joined Search Associates in 2013, following a 25-year career focused on international education, corporate social responsibility and philanthropy.

Bridget spent the early years of her career as a teacher and counselor at international schools, including Jakarta International School, where she taught IB English and served as college counselor and community service program coordinator, and the North Jakarta International School (placed there by Search Associates), where she taught Middle School English and advised the school's journalism and yearbook teams.

She also worked in higher education administration at Harvard University and the American University in Cairo, Egypt. She taught English to Ethiopian refugees in Cairo and to recent U.S. immigrants in Washington, DC.

Before coming to Search, Bridget worked as a consultant and practitioner in the fields of international philanthropy and corporate social responsibility, where she worked with leaders – primarily in the education arena — to improve the effectiveness of their organizations. Employers and clients included the Skoll Foundation, Gates Foundation, Bank of America Foundation, Business for Social Responsibility, Junior Achievement Worldwide and the World Economic Forum.

Bridget earned a B.A. in history from Harvard College and an M.A. in international relations and economics from The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Bridget McNamer serves as the Co-Chair of the task force's Staff Recruitment Committee, which has developed and piloted recommendations for improved, child-protective staff recruitment.

She is active in Search Associates' work in assisting schools in their Head of School and Principal searches. As such, she has "inside" experience and insights regarding issues of women in leadership positions.

Pauline O'Brien

pauline obrien

Pauline O’Brien is the CIS Director of Career & Recruitment Services.

Pauline and her team work collaboratively with member schools using a personalized search approach to identify and fully screen leaders and teachers for their communities. She started at CIS in August of 2014 after thirteen years of international recruiting at The Blue Lynx Group in the Netherlands, where she served in succession as Regional Manager, Operations Manager and Operations Director. Her responsibilities included the development of corporate recruitment strategies, processes and systems to recruit and place multilingual, culturally-competent, international professionals in the Netherlands and abroad. During her tenure, Pauline managed all aspects of the recruitment and selection processes, including accounts and client relationships, to fully understand the varying nature of recruitment needs of her client base.

She has given numerous career workshops for senior and junior candidates, and has interviewed a staggering amount of professionals in her time. Her ultimate aim is always to find that ‘right fit’ and make that ‘right match’. Relationship building is high on Pauline’s list of priorities, something she never tires of.

Her earlier experience in the area of association management at the International Pharmaceutical Federation included national associations worldwide. During her thirteen years at FIP, Pauline managed membership, exhibitions, training, and evaluated multi-cultural teams internationally, honing in on her own intercultural competence.

Originally from Ireland, Pauline moved to the Netherlands in 1986 where she has made her home.