Senior Women Managers in Higher Education: Case Studies from the UK

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The number of women entering higher education in Europe has increased significantly over the last ten years, as have the numbers of women working in higher education and gaining promotion. However, women are still under-represented in senior management positions and among the professoriate. Within the context of increasing demands for high quality leadership and management in higher education, it is important to study women who have already succeeded in obtaining senior university positions and to identify the leadership skills and qualities that they bring to such roles. It is also vital to highlight the characteristics of forward-looking, supportive academic environments, in which women's potential for academic leadership is recognised and rewarded. In this paper, case studies of women promoted to professor and undertaking senior management positions in two UK universities will be presented and analysed. Case studies of women who have been unsuccessful in promotional applications will also be considered.


Keywords: Women Managers, Leadership and Management, Higher Education, Promotion, Support
Stream: Educational Leadership and Management
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: , , Women Managers in Higher Education


Prof. Vivienne Griffiths

Head, School of Education, Department of Educational Research, Canterbury Christ Church University
Canterbury, Kent, UK

Dr Griffiths is a sociologist of education, specialising in gender issues, teachers' professional development, mentoring and partnership in initial teacher education. An experienced teacher educator, she was Director of Initial Teacher Education, and also directed both primary and secondary PGCE programmes, before being appointed as Head of the School of Education at the University of Sussex. She taught for 14 years in primary and secondary schools prior to her appointment at Sussex; positions included Advisory Teacher for Drama in Wakefield. Dr Griffiths will be taking up the post of Professor of Education at Canterbury Christ Church University in early 2009.

Ref: L09P0810