Disparities in Higher Education: Leadership and Gender Essay

3173 Words 13 Pages
When Drew Gilpin Faust was selected as the 28th president of Harvard University in February 2007, a flurry of news and opinion articles marked a new era in higher education administration. She was described as “friendly, collaborative, a consensus builder, and a good administrator,” noting a change not just in institutional direction for Harvard, but in leadership style, too (Bornstein 2007, p. 21).
In response to the publication of Sheryl Sandberg’s best-selling book, “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead,” higher education researchers Kelly Ward and Pamela Eddy applied the book’s content to women in higher education. According to Ward and Eddy (2013), women “lean back from the ladder of academic progress, promotion,
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“Nationally, women are 57% of all college students, but only 26% of full professors, 23% of university presidents and 14% of presidents at the doctoral degree-granting institutions.
2. The number of female presidents has not changed in the last ten years.
3. Women account for less than 30% of the board members on college and university boards.
4. Female faculty have not made any progress in closing the salary gap with their male counterparts. In 1972, they made 83% of what male faculty made; today they make 82% of what male faculty make” (p. 10).
The American College President Study, which is conducted every five years by the American Council on Education, institution discussed the profile of female presidents to include the following comparisons: “institutions served, career path and length of service, and family circumstances.” In 2012, of the 1,622 presidents who responded, 26% were women. According to the American Council on Education, women presidents are much less likely to be married—72% of female presidents are married versus 90% of their male counterparts. Only 4% of male presidents are divorced, while 12% of female presidents are divorced. Women presidents are most likely, at 33%, to serve at associate colleges, and 23% serve at Master’s and Baccalaureate universities. Women represent 14% of presidents at universities that grant doctoral degrees, an increase from just 14% in 2006 (American College

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