Monday, 13 July 2015
Performing and defying gender: women’s leadership experiences in African HE
Dr Ane Turner Johnson, Rowan University, New Jersey, USA
This paper focuses on a study of sub-Saharan African women’s attainment of leadership positions in HE. The project delved into the career and life paths of women who achieved leadership positions at universities in Zimbabwe, Ghana, Nigeria, and Madagascar. The women HE leaders at the heart of the study highlighted their ability to both perform gender at work and to defy and overcome gendered expectations within their careers. Faith, family, and education emerged as common constructs in their experiences of career growth and trajectory, and the intersections of gender performance and personal agency created a threshold in which they exerted ontological sovereignty over their lives and careers. This research tells an important, but often untold, story of successful women on a continent plagued by the crisis narrative.
Leadership positions in HE: where are women academics?
Dr Saeeda Shah, University of Leicester & Dr Victoria Showunmi, UCL Institute of Education
This paper draws upon a British Academy-funded project that explores the interplay between top leadership positions and gender in four public universities in Pakistan. The project investigated factors and power-conditions/structures affecting women’s access to top leadership positions in that national context, whilst also examining the significance of being ‘research-active’, and the challenges that women face in trying to develop and progress their careers. The data were collected by questionnaire to all academic staff members in the four universities, followed by forty interviews – ten per partner university – with women academics at various stages of their career.
Women in Higher Education Leadership in South Asia: Rejection, Refusal, Reluctance, Revisioning.
Professor Louise Morley and Dr Barbara Crossouard, University of Sussex.
This paper draws on recent British Council funded research, including semi-structured interviews with thirty respondents, to explore women’s engagement with leadership in HE in South Asia. A potent affective economy was discovered. Leadership was associated with affects such as aggression, competitiveness, impropriety, stress and anxiety, in ways that were intensified by highly patriarchal and corporatised HE cultures. Indeed, its difficulties and toxicities meant that leadership was rejected or resisted as an object of desire by many women. While illuminating the problematics of the affective economy of HE leadership in this context, the research raises wider questions about the possibilities of disrupting dominant neoliberal constructions of HE if those who question such values are excluded (or self exclude) from leadership positions.
As higher education institutions globally become increasingly performative, competitive and corporatised in response to neoliberal rationalities, the exigencies of higher education (HE) leadership are being realigned to accommodate its value system.
|Network: International Research and Researchers|
|Date(s): Monday, 13 July 2015|
|Times: 11.30 – 15.45|
|Signup Deadline: Wednesday, 08 July 2015|
|Location: SRHE, 73 Collier St, London N1 9BE|
|Lunch Provided: Yes|
|Spaces Left: Places available|
|Prices: Members: Free, Guests: £60.00|
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