Women Managers in Higher Education: Experiences from the UK

By Vivienne Griffiths.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In this paper, case studies of women undertaking middle management positions in two universities in the UK are presented and analysed, within the context of continuing under-representation of women managers and leaders in higher education. In-depth interviews were carried out with women heads, or former heads, of department, in order to obtain their perspectives on their day to day management experiences, longer term strategies and goals, relationships with colleagues and leadership styles. The women all perceived their greatest strength as people management and collegiality, and gender was embedded in their work in a complex way. Some comparison between women’s leadership experiences in the two universities is also drawn. Recommendations for universities to enhance the opportunities for, and status of, women managers and leaders are suggested in conclusion.

Keywords: Women Managers, Leadership and Management, Higher Education

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 10, pp.397-406. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.228MB).

Prof. Vivienne Griffiths

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

Vivienne Griffiths is Professor of Education and Director of Research in Education at Canterbury Christ Church University, UK. Professor Griffiths is a sociologist of education, specialising in gender issues, teachers’ professional development, mentoring and partnership in initial teacher education, and has published widely in these fields. She was formerly Head of the School of Education at the University of Sussex. An experienced teacher educator, she also previously held the roles of Director of Initial Teacher Education, primary and secondary Postgraduate Certificate in Education programmes. She taught for 14 years in primary and secondary schools prior to her first academic appointment.


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