Women missing from university leadership

While the number of women enrolled in higher education and hired as staff in universities is rising worldwide, the pace of this change and shift in attitude toward women leaders of universities is not happening quickly enough.

Five women who want to speed up equality gathered on Thursday at the Worldviews Conference on Media and Higher Education at the University of Toronto for a panel discussion entitled Majority in enrolment, minority in leadership: expanding the coverage on women.

Zukiswa Kekana, a doctoral student from New York University, told the audience that a greater number of women are enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs and are shifting from predominantly studying the social sciences to a more broad array of disciplines like health sciences.

That’s where the good news ends. Teboho Moja, a clinical professor of higher education at NYU, said that although women are overrepresented in higher education enrollment overall, the American Council on Education’s data show they’re poorly represented at the top. Between 1997 and 2013 in the U.S., women made up only 16 to 22 per cent of university presidents, 13 to 14 per cent of chief business officers and 25 to 43 per cent of chief academic officers (such as deans).

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