Women leaders in higher education: shattering the myths
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In Western democratic countries, the feminization of the paid labour force has
been one of the more important social and economic changes of the twentieth
century. These changes heralded profound cultural challenges to expectations of
women’s social, political and economic participation and stimulated widespread
debate about gender equity for women in education and employment across the
public and private sectors. However, the significant under-representation of
women in senior leadership roles in higher education remains.
Drawing extensively on narratives from women leaders and their female colleagues,
the author examines the everyday experiences of women in senior
leadership roles in an environment in which White women are a numerical
minority and Indigenous women are a rare presence. These stories are not about
triumph over adversity; they trace the ambiguities, contradictions, pleasures and
ambivalences that women leaders experience. Importantly, the author brings
into sharp relief the difficult and complicated territory that exists between
women leaders and their female colleagues. This has the potential to produce a
dissonance between how leaders view themselves and how they are viewed.
Women Leaders in Higher Education will be essential reading for anyone
involved or interested in higher education policy and management, academic
leadership, organizational diversity and gender studies.