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Why are women underrepresented in leadership

Why are women underrepresented in leadership

An exploration of reasons why women have not become leaders in academia by Louise Morley in Lost Leaders: women in the global academy in University World News:

Women have never been better represented in higher education than they are today. Globally, female students outnumber male students in two out of every three countries, according to data reported to UNESCO, while the number of women enrolled in tertiary institutions has grown almost twice as fast as that of men since 1970.

Gender equality legislation, socio-economic and de-traditionalisation factors have all played a part in this welcome trend, yet so far they appear to have had relatively little impact on opportunities for women to reach senior management and academic leadership positions in the sector.

Morley sees two possible reasons for lack of women in leadership in our current era:

While the global academy is characterised by hypermodernism, the archaism of male dominated leadership remains in all countries included in the study. In most countries, gender escapes organisational logic in relation to leadership and meritocracy is overlooked when it comes to identifying women as potential leaders.

A question was whether women’s under-representation was the result of discrimination or whether women make affective and material calculations regarding the costliness of attachment to leadership aspirations?

Do you think women are assessing the down side of traditional leadership – or are they just making the best of a situation that seems impervious to change? Does it hold true for the church? Read the Women’s Manifesto for Change and more about women’s views on leadership here.

h/t to Deirdre Good for pointing us to this story.


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