Enrolment in Higher Education for women is now approaching parity, and in some countries, has overtaken men, yet this does not translate into senior appointments and leadership positions within Higher Education institutions. Vice chancellorships are still a male preserve (e.g. 3% India, 14% UK) and there is evidence of a sharp tapering of opportunities for women across the Higher Education spectrum, particularly in the most senior posts.
In examining the relationship between peoples, cultures and ideas and the subsequent leap in innovation, it is all too easy to look at what exists rather than what is missing and ignore the elephant in the room. Asian countries are making positive steps in building a more gender-inclusive society, but policies specific to women leaders in academia are few and far between. There is a correlation between women managers and leaders, and a woman's role in society: more patriarchal societies tend to have fewer women at the helm.
Excluding women from management and decision-making positions wastes skills and talent - academic studies suggest that gender diversity in leadership improves organisational performance, innovation and accountability.
There is overwhelming evidence that time for talking is gone – what we require now are action steps and practical interventions to challenge the status quo of HE leadership globally.
• Presents research evidencing women's representation in HE leadership globally.
• Explores the barriers (perceived or real) preventing women from scaling the precarious ivory tower.
• Debates the interventions, cultural, attitudinal and structural changes needed to ensure a more representative HE leadership.
The session will aim to stimulate discussion amongst participants to draw out specific action steps and practical interventions to address gender inequality in leadership.