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A Women-Only Leadership Development Program: Facilitating Access to Authority for Women in Swedish Higher Education?

Department of Sociology and Work Science, University of Gothenburg, SE-405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(5), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8050137
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 28 April 2019 / Accepted: 29 April 2019 / Published: 2 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women and Leadership in Higher Education)
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PDF [306 KB, uploaded 20 May 2019]

Abstract

This article explores a national women-only leadership development program in Swedish higher education, the so-called IDAS program (an acronym for Identity, Development, Advancement, Support). IDAS encouraged and supported women academics to pursue leadership/administrative careers in higher education and was a unique intervention, aiming to increase the number of women Rectors. By drawing on interviews with some of the women who participated in the IDAS program and subsequently became Rectors, the article provides a valuable case study over best practices to increase women senior leaders in higher education. Notwithstanding the success of the leadership program, the article also deals with resistance and criticism linked to equal opportunity initiatives such as this. The article analyzes the criticism voiced by the women interviewed and suggests that it can be understood in relation to different conceptions of gender and gender (in)equality. View Full-Text
Keywords: women-only; leadership development program; higher education; Sweden; Rectors women-only; leadership development program; higher education; Sweden; Rectors
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Peterson, H. A Women-Only Leadership Development Program: Facilitating Access to Authority for Women in Swedish Higher Education? Soc. Sci. 2019, 8, 137.

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