Interrogating strategies and policies to advance women in academic leadership: the case of Hong Kong

Sarah Jane Aiston, Chee Kent Fo, Wing Wah Law

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The absence of women academics in the most senior ranks and leadership roles in higher education is both an international phenomenon and an enduring social justice issue. This article provides an original insight into the ‘policy’ response to the underrepresentation of women academics as senior leaders in three case-study universities in Hong Kong. Based on documentary analysis and interviews with 35 women academics, the research indicates: ‘gaps’ between institutions voicing a commitment to gender equality and actual practice; middle management being a ‘sticking point’ in bringing about cultural change; a lack of understanding by some male colleagues of the barriers women face in the profession; a rejection of positive or affirmative action by interviewees; and a policy context that is focused upon equal treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-364
JournalJournal of Higher Education Policy and Management
Volume42
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2020

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