ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Academic Glass Ceiling


Why is it considered acceptable that women should still ask for their fair share in top leadership positions in academia? We feel very happy to say that women have been increasingly taking on leadership roles in Indian academia, including positions such as vice chancellors, deans, and heads of departments in universities and colleges. But do we know how meagre their percentage is and how men continue to dominate the highest leadership positions in Indian academia?

As of November 2019, a Brookings India report titled “Reviving Higher Education in India” identified the Indian higher education sector as among the world’s largest, comprising 51,649 institutions. Although the education sector has a preferential status for women in India, only 5% of the women are working as leaders in Indian higher education and there are significant gender disparities with the under-representation of women in decision-making bodies and senior leadership positions. In a report titled “Women in Higher Education Leadership in South Asia: Rejection, Refusal, Reluctance, Revisioning,” Louise Morley and Barbara Crossouard note that India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka rank between 68 and 141 out of 142 countries in the Global Gender Gap. On the global front, a recent Times Higher Education World University Rankings observed that women occupy nearly 25% of the leadership positions (48) in the world’s top 200 universities, which is 12% more than in 2021.

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Updated On : 23rd Nov, 2023
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