Increasing Female Leadership in Higher Education

Conference: The Asian Conference on Education (ACE2021)
Title: Increasing Female Leadership in Higher Education
Stream: Higher Education
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation
Frances Shiobara, Kobe Shoin Women's University, Japan


Female rates of participation in academia are shockingly low around the world, but even lower in senior leadership roles within higher education. Comparing data from countries around the world, it can be seen that even in countries with high levels of gender equality in society in general, leadership roles in universities are still gender unbalanced. There have been a number of reasons suggested for this, but it seems that it cannot be explained simply by child care alone. The reasons appear to be far more complex. Academia is one area in which technology means that people do not need to stick to fixed work schedules, making it particularly suited to workers trying to balance work and home responsibilities. Why, when the number of female university undergraduates is equal to or greater than male undergraduates in the majority of countries, is it that women do not stay in academia? This paper will analyze data to try to show some of the reasons that women do not stay in academia after graduating and why they do not rise to senior leadership positions. It will go on to suggest some possible ways that governments, higher education institutes and co-workers might try to rectify the imbalance and enable women to rise to senior leadership positions within higher education. Increasing the number of women in higher education not only increases diversity, but also acts as motivation for young women entering higher education to continue with post-graduate study and ultimate make a career in academia.

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