22 SES 04 E JS, Leadership in Higher Education
Paper Session Joint Session NW 22 with NW 26
In recent decades, the university context has been modified on gender issues due to the massive incorporation of women at the University. However, despite having greater number of girls than boys in many degrees, spaces of political and organizational power and management roles are played mostly by men (García-Gómez, 2006; Smith, 2002; Trinidad, 2005). To this end, the topic of women as educational leaders became an important research topic for the Higher Education system nowadays.
In a previous study we found out that the Heads of Department (HoD) play an important role as pedagogical leaders and become relevant levers for change by driving the departmental aims and encouraging lectures and groups to improve the quality of teaching in higher education, in accordance with the new and changing demands of the knowledge economy and the information society. However it is a fact that there is a disparity in the representation of men and women in the performance of management post at university in general. Therefore, we consider that it is interesting to offer an in-depth study into the topic of women academics who are in management positions, their trajectories, feelings and the way they perceived the difficulties associated to the position from a gender perspective, taking into account the feminist theory (Adkins & Skeggs, 2004; Ghaill, & Haywood, 2006), the idea of the gender occupational segregation (Bacik & Drew, 2006; Woodfield, 2007), the concept of glass ceiling (Moreau, Osgood & Halsall, 2007) and their condition as academics (Acker & Dillabough, 2007).
In the last few years, we have in the Spanish context research about this issue and these authors have served as baseline of my study (Díez, 2004; López & Sánchez, 2009; Sánchez, 2008; Sánchez & Lavié, 2011; Sánchez & López, 2008; Sánchez, Tomás & Lavié, 2013). Through them, the authors highlight the role of women that play in the Spanish context at university.
So that, as a way to expand one of the lines of research that were studied in a Doctoral Thesis, I am carrying out a study about management in Higher Education from a gender perspective by analysing the post of HoD developed by women in two Universities by a comparative study.Therefore, through this research we will study the role of the people in the post of HoD in two universities that belongs to different educational systems, University of Seville (Spain) and University of Sussex (UK). To this end, an analysis of the position of the HoD is carried out from a gender perspective by studying their career, their experience, the reasons for applying to the post and their expectations. An analysis about the difficulties they find at the development of the post will be also carried out, as well as their needs and their opinion about the post.
In conclusion, this study aims to approach reality through its analysis as a way to understand the circumstances that are underneath the gender differences that we have found at Higher Education level in middle level management in different countries.
The objectives are as follows:
- Delve into the professional trajectories of women at HoD positions and the way of access to the post.
- Identify the reasons to apply for departmental responsibilities by defining which aspirations, and expectations they expect to develop.
- Analyze the difficulties that women managers face in the performance of a managerial post at university.
- Investigate the opinions about gender differences at developing a managerial post at university.
Acker, S. & Dillabough, J. (2007) Women ‘learning to labour’ in the ‘male emporium’: exploring gendered work in teacher education. Gender and Education, 19, 3, 297 - 316 Adkins, L. & Skeggs, B. (2004). Feminism after Bourdieu. Oxford: Backwell Publishing Bacik, I. y Drew, E. (2006). Struggling with juggling: Gender and work/life balance in the legal professions. Women’s International Forum, 29, 136-146. Diéz, E. (dir.) (2004). La cultura de género en las organizaciones escolares: motivaciones y obstáculos de acceso de la mujer a los puestos de dirección. Madrid: Instituto de la Mujer. García-Gómez, T. (2006). La reproducción de estereotipos sexuales en las escuelas: un mecanismo de exclusión de las maestras del cargo de dirección. Bordón, 58, 1, 33-50. Ghaill, M.M. & Haywood, C. (2006). Gender, culture and society: contemporary feminities and masculinities. Palgrave Macmillan. López, J. & Sánchez, M. R. (2009). Mujeres agentes de cambio en la dirección de organizaciones universitarias. Revista de educación, 348, 331-353. Moreau, M.P., Osgood, J. and Halsall, A. (2007) Making sense of the glass ceiling in schools: an exploration of women teachers discourses. Gender and Education, 19, 2, 237-253. Sánchez, M.R. (2008). Mujeres directivas: un estudio en la Universidad española. Sevilla: Secretariado de Publicaciones Universidad de Sevilla. Sánchez, M. R. & Lavié, J.M. (2011). El liderazgo y la asunción de cargos académicos en function del género. In M. Tomás I Folch (Coord.), La Universidad vista desde la perspectiva de género (pp. 15-42). Barcelona: Octaedro. Sánchez, M.R. & López, J. (2008). Condiciones organizativas de la enseñanza en la Universidad. In C. Mayor Ruiz (Ed.), Enseñanza y aprendizaje en la Educación Superior (pp. 27-48). Barcelona: Octaedro. Sánchez, M.R., Tomás, M. & Lavié, J.M. (2013). Visibilidad y poder de las mujeres en instituciones universitarias. Archivos Analíticos de Políticas Educativas, 21 (32), 1-30. Smith, R. (2002). The role of the University Head of Department. A survey of Two British Universities. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 30, 293-312 Trinidad, A. (Dir.) (2005). La educación superior en Andalucía. Madrid: Editorial Tecnos. Woodfield, R. (2007). What women want from work. Gender and occupational choice in the 21st century. N.Y: Palgrave Macmillan.
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