Empowering Women in Higher Education Leadership
Women in Higher Education: Stats and Trends
Women’s Journey Through U.S. Higher Education
- 9% were Latinas, compared to Latinos at 13.2% of graduating men
- 4% were Black, compared to Black men at 8.9%
- 5% were Native American, compared to Native American men at 0.4%
A History of Female Leaders in Higher Ed
Women in Higher Education Leadership Today
Barriers for Women in Higher Education Leadership
Women in Higher Education Leadership: Challenges and Triumphs
Higher Education Leadership Skills
Resources: Common Skills for Leaders in Higher Ed
- Inside Higher Ed, “If You Want to Lead, Start with a Vision” — Learn why a leader’s vision determines the path for their institution’s success.
- TEDxMileHigh, “How to Expand Your Imagination in 8 Days” — Vision requires a strong imagination; nurture it with concrete steps such as daydreaming.
- The Startup, “Success Requires Persistence: A Mini-Guide to Persistence” — Here’s information on the science of persistence and how to build it.
- Psychology Today, “Developing Discipline” — Four simple actions can be taken to improve self-discipline.
- Business News Daily, “Key Steps Women Can Take to Be Strong Leaders” — Here is advice for women on how to excel at leadership.
- Gallup, “5 Ways to Promote Accountability” — Learn about accountability and how leaders can encourage the practice in their organizations.
Advancing Women in Leadership: Paths to Senior Roles in Higher Ed
Entry-Level Positions for Aspiring Leaders in Higher Education
- Academic support specialist: Works directly with students, linking them with services and advising them on available programs. Can lead to senior roles in student affairs such as assistant director. May require additional certifications such as a teaching credential or counseling license.
- Career counselor: Advises students on post-graduation career paths. Can lead to senior roles in career services such as director of career development.
- Financial aid adviser: Evaluates students’ financial situation and advises on available financial aid packages. Can lead to senior roles in financial aid such as associate director.
Navigating Challenges to Women’s Ambition
Profiles of Advancing Women in Leadership: The Upper Echelon
- Mary Schmidt Campbell, President, Spelman College: Before her tenure as Spelman’s 10th president, Dr. Campbell steered the Studio Museum in Harlem’s path to becoming the nation’s first accredited Black fine arts museum, and served as New York City’s cultural affairs commissioner.
- Amy Gutman, President, University of Pennsylvania: Penn’s president since 2004, in 2022 Dr. Gutman will become its longest serving president since the university’s founding in 1740. Prior to her appointment, she was provost at Princeton University, where she founded the University Center for Human Values.
- Lily D. McNair, President, Tuskegee University: Before her appointment to Tuskegee, Dr. McNair worked as an associate professor, associate director, associate provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, and a provost.
- Janet Napolitano, President, University of California: After serving as governor of Arizona from 2003 to 2009 and as secretary of homeland security in former President Barack Obama’s administration, Napolitano was appointed the first female president of the UC system in 2013.
- Lynnette Zelezny, President, California State University, Bakersfield: Prior to being appointed CSUB’s fifth president in 2018, Dr. Zelezny served as provost and vice president of academic affairs at Fresno State University. Among other roles, she also worked as an associate provost, dean, department chair, and visiting professor at the University of Stockholm in Sweden.