Excluded by 'golf with boss' culture
It would only be so "if women are prepared to expect less from their careers and their employers than their male counterparts", a report said.
Researchers at London Metropolitan university interviewed more than 100 teachers, heads and school governors about their careers. They found that women teachers complained of chauvinism and misogyny in the work- place.
One woman governor said: "I still believe it is the man who is the breadwinner... there are superwomen out there who can do both (motherhood and teaching) but do they look after the children? Do they ever see them? I don't think so. It's not what you want is it?"
The report described a culture in which drinking and playing golf with the male boss in order to get a promotion was prevalent. Primary staff acknowledged that there was positive discrimination for men.
Flexible working or job sharing was seen as being given "preferential treatment" and taking maternity leave was tantamount to demotion, it said.
While the majority of male headteachers had stay-at-home wives, women who progressed to the top were often single or divorced.
One male headteacher told researchers: "I see many female heads who are aggressive and have a chip on their shoulder. I think they need to just relax into the role. I think they perhaps feel they've got a point to prove."
Governors were found in some cases to have extreme and traditional views on the roles of men and women in society.