Shanmugam, M., Amaratunga, Dilanthi and Haigh, Richard (2008) Employability of women managers in higher education sector: a study on their leadership qualities. In: CIB W89 International Conference on Building Education and research (BEAR), 11-15th February 2008, Sri Lanka. (Unpublished)

The teaching profession both in this country and internationally is, with few exceptions,
dominated by women as it has traditionally been seen as a ‘suitable’ job for women. However, a
look at the statistics reveals that despite the large number of women in the profession, they are
greatly under-represented in positions of management in higher education (HE). Thus this
under-representation of women continues to be a matter of some concern. The background of
this paper identifies the status of women managers within the higher education sector. The
leadership styles typically adopted by women managers are then discussed. These styles are
taken into further analysis in order to find out whether any such styles are of use in terms of
filling the leadership gaps in higher education. In this context, this paper examines the literature
relating to gender, leadership styles and higher education in order to explore how the leadership
qualities of women managers will have a contribution towards the higher education sector.

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