Despite a myriad of challenges including the slow pace of rising to the top and the low compositional diversity in most university leadership, women of color are becoming increasingly visible in higher education leadership. This paper investigates the phenomena of the growing numbers of women of color in top positions, with the aim of debunking the myth of the invisibility of black women in leadership positions in higher education. The findings indicate that although women in the U.S. earn the majority of postsecondary degrees and 26.4% of college presidents are women, with 4.5% of them being women of color, women still have a long way to go before they have equal status with men in university leadership positions. Theories and practices of leadership now focus on competencies that have typically and traditionally been associated with women, and not valued as workplace leadership competencies. An advantageous increase in female academicians means these women bring a different level of knowing, pose different questions, and share different experiences than their male counterparts. Unfortunately, female academicians’ experiences do not yet factor into public policies and decision-making.
Mainah, Fredah and Perkins, Vernita
"Challenges Facing Female Leaders of Color in U.S. Higher Education,"
International Journal of African Development: Vol. 2:
2, Article 3.
Available at: https://scholarworks.wmich.edu/ijad/vol2/iss2/3