HERS Research Brief
Higher Education Resource Services
Research has shown that most managers and top leadership teams do not fully realize the value of having women in key positions, and this is the case across all sectors, including business, government, political, nonprofit, religious, community, and education (schools, colleges, and universities). Organizations will increasingly thrive when both men and women hold management and leadership roles. Gender inclusivity benefits not only businesses, but also entities such as churches, state legislatures, and city councils. This potential for greater thriving is also true for institutions of higher education in the U.S. and around the world. Understanding the value of inclusivity in postsecondary educational settings is critical and timely. In these uncertain times, all schools, colleges, and universities have goals toward increased effectiveness, efficiency, productivity, and overall organizational performance. Heightening awareness of the value of women in leadership is an opportunity for institutions to begin and/or strengthen related efforts toward reaching these goals. National efforts, such as the Moving the Needle Initiative, are gaining momentum as they seek to increase awareness of the continued lack of gender parity in higher education leadership and to draw attention to the many organizational benefits that result from embracing inclusive diversity.
Madsen, S. R. (2015, June). Why do we need more women leaders in higher education? HERS National Report Series. https://www.usu.edu/uwlp/files/hers.brief.no.1.pdf