Report Examines the Power Gap in Leadership Positions in Massachusetts Higher Education

A new report by the Eos Foundation examines the gender gap in leadership positions at colleges and universities in Massachusetts. The report examined the leadership of the state’s 92 colleges and universities and found a power gap — and a pay gap — for women.

The report found that while women are a majority of college students in the state, only 37 percent of college and university presidents in the state are women. And the gender gap is even more pronounced at the state’s major universities. The report found that women comprise 47 percent of presidents at associate’s degree-granting institutions, but only 22 percent of the universities that offer doctoral degrees. The study found that there are no women presidents among the nine state universities, and there remain 30 institutions that have never had a woman president.

Colleges and universities that have a woman as leader produce a trickle-down effect for women executives. The report found that campuses led by women presidents averaged 52 percent of women among the top 10 most highly compensated employees at their schools, and those women took home 53 percent of the earnings. Of the schools led by men, women comprised 39 percent of the top 10, but only brought home 30 percent of all the earnings.

Andrea Silbert, president of the Eos Foundation, notes that “we found that while women had made significant inroads into the “pipeline positions” to the presidency (primarily provosts and deans), they were not proportionately represented as presidents. This finding indicates that the lack of parity among the total number of female presidents across the 92 schools cannot be explained as a “pipeline” problem, leading us to question whether implicit bias is at play. We see the same glass ceiling phenomenon at the CEO level in corporate America, so we should not be surprised to find it in academia, as well.”

The full report, Women’s Power Gap in Higher Education: 2019 Study and Rankings, may be downloaded by clicking here.

Filed Under: Research/Study

RSSComments (0)

Leave a Reply