Special Issue "Gender and Leadership"

A special issue of Education Sciences (ISSN 2227-7102).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2018)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Pat O'Connor

1. Department of Sociology, University of Limerick, Limerick, V94 T9PX, Ireland.
2. Geary Institute, University College Dublin, Stillorgan Rd, Belfield, Dublin, D04 V1W8, Ireland
Website 1 | Website 2 | E-Mail
Interests: Higher education; Gender: at an individual, interactional, organisational and institutional level; organisational culture and leadership in state and semi-state organisations; masculinities/femininities; constructions of excellence; meritocacy as myth

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Leadership is seen as critically important at a societal and organisational level. In most of the major institutions in Western society, the gender profile of such positions is male dominated and masculinist, despite the evidence that this is unhelpful to economic growth, research innovation, good governance etc. This Special Issue wants to explore new ideas about the gendering of leadership and the contexts and interventions that facilitate structural and cultural change.

This Special Issue welcomes articles on (a) theoretical perspectives on power, resources and gendered leadership including feminist leadership (b) case studies which provide fresh insights into the organisational and/or societal contexts which facilitate female and/or feminist leadership (e) empirical evidence on the efficacy of interventions to promote such leadership (e) intersectional, transgender, generational and national variation in and perspectives on the gendered performance of leadership.

References:

Acker, S. (2012) ‘Chairing and Caring: gendered dimensions of leadership in academe’, Gender and Education, 24 (4): 411–428

Alvesson, M. and Billing, Y. (2013) ‘Organizational Culture and Leadership’, in Understanding Organizational Culture. 2nd edition. London: Sage

Blackmore, J. (2014) ‘‘Wasting talent’? Gender and the problematic of academic disenchantment and disengagement with leadership’, Higher Education Research and Development 33, (1): 86–99.

Cook, A. and Glass, C. (2014) ‘Women and top leadership positions’, Towards an Instututional analysis’, Gender, Work and Organization, 21 (1); 91–103

Eagly, A.H and Carli, LL (2007) Women and the Labyrinth of Leadership. Harvard Business Review, September 1–23 https://hbr.org/2007/09/women-and-the-labyrinth-of-leadership

Ely, R., Ibarra, H., & Kolb, D. (2011). Taking gender into account: Theory and design for women's leadership development programs. Academy of Management Learning and Education, 10(3), 474–493.

Gallant, A. (2014) ‘Symbolic interactions and the development of Women Leaders in Higher Education’, Gender, Work and Organization 21 (2): 203–216

Madden, M. (2005) ‘Gender and Leadership in Higher Education’, Psychology of Women Quarterly, 29 (1): 3–14

Morley, L. (2013) Women and Higher Education Leadership: Absences and Aspirations. Stimulus Paper. Leadership Foundation for Higher Education. LINK

Miller, D. I., Eagly, A. H., & Linn, M. C. (2015). Women’s representation in science predicts national gender-science stereotypes: Evidence from 66 nations. Journal of Educational Psychology. Advance online publication in 2014.

Muhr, S.L (2011) ‘Caught in the Gendered Machine: On the Masculine and Feminine in Cyborg Leadership’, Gender, Work and Organization 18 (3): 337–357.

Ryan, M., & Halsam, S. (2007). The glass cliff: Exploring the dynamics surrounding the appointment of women to precarious leadership positions. Academy of Management Review, 32, 549–572.

Sinclair, A. (2013) ‘A material dean’, Leadership 9 (3): 436–443

Sinclair, A.(2014) ‘A feminist case for leadership’, ed J. Damousi, K,. Ruberstein and M. Tomasic (eds.) Diversity in Leadership: Australian women, past and present. Canberra: ANU.

Alimo-Metcalfe, B. and Alban-Metcalfe, J.A. (2005) Leadership: Time for a New Direction’, Leadership 1(1): 51–71. 

Collinson, D. (2005) ‘Dialectics of Leadership’, Human Relations 58 (11): 1419.

De Vries, J. and Van Den Brink, M. (2016) ‘Transformative gender interventions: linking theory and practice using the bi-focal approach’, Equality. Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal 35 (7/8): 427-448.

Ely, R.J., Ibarra, H. and Kolb, D.M. (2011) 'Taking gender into account: Theory and Design for Women's Leadership Development Programs', Academy of Management, 10 (3): 474-493

Fletcher, J. (2004) ‘The paradox of Post Heroic Leadership:An Essay on Gender, Power and Transformational Change’, The Leadership Quarterly 15: 647-661

Martin, P.Y. and Collinson, D. (2002) ‘Over the Pond and Across the Water: Developing the Field of Gendered Organizations’, Gender, Work and Organization, 9 (3): 244-265

Peterson, H. (2015) ‘Exit the King, Enter the Maid: Changing Discourses on Gendered Management ideals in Swedish Higher Education’, Gender in Management: An International Journal, 30 (5): 343-357.

Van Den Brink, MCL and Benschop, Y. (2011) ‘Slaying the seven headed dragon:The quest for gender change in Academia’, Gender, Work and Organisation 19 (1): 71-92.

White, K. and O’Connor, P. (eds.) Gendered Success in Higher Education: Global Perspectives. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Prof. Dr. Pat O'Connor
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Education Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

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Keywords

  • Gender and leadership
  • Gendered change agents
  • Organizational and/or societal contexts
  • Effective interventions
  • Feminist leadership

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Introduction to Special Issue on Gender and Leadership and a Future Research Agenda
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(3), 93; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8030093
Received: 22 June 2018 / Accepted: 22 June 2018 / Published: 23 June 2018
PDF Full-text (193 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Despite the feminisation of universities in terms of their student intake [1,2], formal positions of academic leadership in higher education remain concentrated in male hands[…] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender and Leadership)

Research

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Open AccessArticle From “Goal-Orientated, Strong and Decisive Leader” to “Collaborative and Communicative Listener”. Gendered Shifts in Vice-Chancellor Ideals, 1990–2018
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8020090
Received: 27 April 2018 / Revised: 11 June 2018 / Accepted: 14 June 2018 / Published: 19 June 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (272 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Applying a critical gendered lens, this article examines academic leadership ideals. It draws on a content analysis of job advertisements for Vice-Chancellors at Swedish higher education institutions from 1990 until 2018. The aim of the article is to investigate to what extent masculine
[...] Read more.
Applying a critical gendered lens, this article examines academic leadership ideals. It draws on a content analysis of job advertisements for Vice-Chancellors at Swedish higher education institutions from 1990 until 2018. The aim of the article is to investigate to what extent masculine or feminine wordings have been used to describe the ideal Vice-Chancellor in these documents. The analysis reveals that a shift in the leadership ideal has taken place during the time period investigated. Before this shift, during the 1990s, the ideal Vice-Chancellor was described as competitive, bold, strong, tough, decisive, driven, and assertive. These wordings are still included in the job advertisements from the 2000s and the 2010s. However, a more communicative and collaborative leadership ideal also emerges during these decades. There is thus a significant shift in how the leadership ideal is described. This shift is analyzed from a gendered perspective, suggesting that the traditional masculine-biased leadership ideal has decreased in influence with the feminine, transformational leadership ideal acting as a counterweight. The article argues that the shift in leadership ideals, as constructed in the job advertisements, mirrors the increase of women Vice-Chancellors appointed in the Swedish higher education sector. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender and Leadership)
Open AccessArticle Empirical Evidence Illuminating Gendered Regimes in UK Higher Education: Developing a New Conceptual Framework
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8020081
Received: 26 February 2018 / Revised: 5 May 2018 / Accepted: 25 May 2018 / Published: 5 June 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (746 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Debates on the absence of women in senior organizational roles continue to proliferate but relatively little attention is paid to the Higher Education (HE) context in which women in leadership roles are seriously under-represented. However, higher education is now central to UK political
[...] Read more.
Debates on the absence of women in senior organizational roles continue to proliferate but relatively little attention is paid to the Higher Education (HE) context in which women in leadership roles are seriously under-represented. However, higher education is now central to UK political discourse given the growing controversy around student fees, vice chancellors’ remuneration’ and Brexit. This paper draws on a collaborative research study on the experiences of 105 senior women leaders across 3 UK Universities, which elicited accounts of constraints, successes and career highlights. Our research findings present empirical insights that expose the continuing gender inequalities most notable in senior Higher Education roles. Women’s accounts include stories of diverse experiences, on-going discriminatory practices and a failure to recognise the embedded gendered inequalities that continue to prevail in these institutions. Through a critical interrogation of the narratives of female professors and building on insights from a seminal paper by Broadbridge and Simpson a conceptual framework is offered as a heuristic device to capture critical and reflexive data in future studies of equality and inequality in leadership roles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender and Leadership)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Women Rectors and Leadership Narratives: The Same Male Norm?
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8020075
Received: 26 March 2018 / Revised: 14 May 2018 / Accepted: 16 May 2018 / Published: 23 May 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (253 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper examines how two Portuguese women rectors constructed narratives on their path to leadership positions and their performance of leadership roles. The study is based on a qualitative empirical analysis based on life story interviews with two women rectors in Portugal. The
[...] Read more.
This paper examines how two Portuguese women rectors constructed narratives on their path to leadership positions and their performance of leadership roles. The study is based on a qualitative empirical analysis based on life story interviews with two women rectors in Portugal. The results from this research suggest that women rectors tend to develop narratives about their professional route to the top as based on merit and hard work, and tend to classify their leadership experience as gender-neutral and grounded on the establishment of good relationships with their peers along their professional path. These narratives may contribute to reinforcing the male norm that leads other women to blame themselves for not being able to progress in their career, hindering the creation of an organisational environment that is open to the development of institutional policies to improve equal opportunities. Portugal is a very interesting case study, considering that despite the long history of its higher education system and the high participation of women in higher education, there were only two women rectors in the country until 2014. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender and Leadership)
Open AccessArticle Leading the Academic Department: A Mother–Daughter Story
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8020064
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 23 April 2018 / Accepted: 26 April 2018 / Published: 28 April 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (337 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article is based on conversations between a mother and daughter about academic leadership. Both authors served in different time periods and at different career points as heads of departments (“chairs”) in Canadian universities. A literature review suggested that women’s academic leadership is
[...] Read more.
This article is based on conversations between a mother and daughter about academic leadership. Both authors served in different time periods and at different career points as heads of departments (“chairs”) in Canadian universities. A literature review suggested that women’s academic leadership is a contested topic, especially in relation to organizational cultures and associated gendered expectations. New directions were identified, as scholars move towards comparative studies, poststructural theoretical approaches, analysis of neoliberal trends in universities, and awareness of variation among women. We noted that “Canada” was largely missing from most of the literature reviewed and that middle management had received less attention than senior roles. Our method was collaborative autoethnography, a means of sharing thoughts about one’s experiences and analyzing them with regard to wider social issues. Quotations are taken from a taped discussion in early 2018 and are organized around similarities and differences in our narratives. The conclusion raises issues about the difficulties associated with performing this particular middle management role; questions around the consequences of chairing for women in different age groups; the implications of increasing reliance on contingent academic labour; apparent differences between the Canadian experience and what has happened elsewhere; and promising directions for future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender and Leadership)
Open AccessArticle Looking Good and Being Good: Women Leaders in Australian Universities
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8020054
Received: 19 February 2018 / Revised: 12 April 2018 / Accepted: 17 April 2018 / Published: 20 April 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (239 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this article, I argue that women in senior leadership positions in universities continue to face a number of tensions and ambiguities in their everyday working lives. Drawing on the metaphors of ‘looking good’ and ‘being good’, I highlight the gendered assumptions that
[...] Read more.
In this article, I argue that women in senior leadership positions in universities continue to face a number of tensions and ambiguities in their everyday working lives. Drawing on the metaphors of ‘looking good’ and ‘being good’, I highlight the gendered assumptions that senior women encounter. As senior leaders, women are simultaneously required to negotiate an inherently masculine culture yet at the same time are expected to exercise a level of femininity. Their physical presence, appearance, clothing, gestures, and behaviours are central to the bodily exercise of leadership. As the data presented illustrate, women’s leadership bodies and bodily performances reflect gendered institutional norms and assumptions about how leaders should look and act. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender and Leadership)
Open AccessArticle The Perspectives of Women Professors on the Professoriate: A Missing Piece in the Narrative on Gender Equality in the University
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8020050
Received: 18 February 2018 / Revised: 19 March 2018 / Accepted: 10 April 2018 / Published: 13 April 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (292 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The under-representation of women in the professoriate is a widely acknowledged and complex phenomenon internationally. Ireland is no exception to this and indeed the issue of gender equality in Irish higher education has in the last 24 months emerged on the national policy
[...] Read more.
The under-representation of women in the professoriate is a widely acknowledged and complex phenomenon internationally. Ireland is no exception to this and indeed the issue of gender equality in Irish higher education has in the last 24 months emerged on the national policy agenda, largely as a result of a number of high profile legal cases and the subsequent setting up of an expert review panel (2015) and a gender equality taskforce (2017). What has now become clear internationally is that despite the advances women have made in terms of their participation rates as undergraduates, as well as the introduction of gender equity policies, the vast majority of professors in higher education institutions globally are men. Specifically, regarding Ireland in the period 2013–2015, even though 50% of the lecturer staff in universities were women, only 19% of professors were women. While the availability of such data is instructive, attention also needs to focus on examining the organizational culture and practices that appear to perpetuate such gender divisions and gendered patterns of action. On this, however, there is an almost complete absence of studies on the perspectives of women professors in Ireland on the professoriate. The study reported here, which was undertaken within the life story tradition, is one response to this deficit. It is based on interviews conducted with 21 women professors on their perspectives on working as professors in the university sphere in the period 2000‒2017. Four key themes were generated during the analysis of their testimony: they regarded universities as operating according to male-definitions of merit; they made a strategic choice not to engage in senior management roles (Senior management is defined as occupying the role of Dean level or above.); they considered there was no room for caring responsibilities in universities; and they emphasized the importance of validation, selection, and networks of support. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender and Leadership)
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