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ERIC Number: EJ1140595
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Apr
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0892-0206
Why Are There so Few Female Leaders in Higher Education: A Case of Structure or Agency?
Shepherd, Sue
Management in Education, v31 n2 p82-87 Apr 2017
A significant gender imbalance remains at executive management level within higher education despite a number of initiatives to increase the number of women in the leadership pipeline and ensure they are better prepared for these roles. This article presents findings from a recent study on the appointment of deputy and pro vice-chancellors in pre-1992 English universities that provide fresh insights into why this might be the case. These findings challenge the notion of women's missing agency--characterized by a lack of confidence or ambition and a tendency to opt out of applying for the top jobs--as an explanation for their continued underrepresentation. Rather, they highlight the importance of three structural factors associated with the selection process: mobility and external career capital, conservatism, and homosociability. An approach of "fixing" the women is therefore unlikely to be sufficient in redressing the current gender imbalance within university executive management teams.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A