Brookes Professor calls for more women in leadership roles in HE

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

workplace equality

Simonetta Mandfredi, Professor of Equality and Diversity Management and Director of Oxford Brookes’ Centre for Diversity Policy Research and Practice, is calling on the higher education sector to put more women at the top in leadership roles.

Simonetta Mandfredi, Professor of Equality and Diversity Management and Director of Oxford Brookes’ Centre for Diversity Policy Research and Practice, is calling on the higher education sector to put more women at the top in leadership roles.

According to a report published in November last year by the Equality Challenge Unit the proportion of female vice-chancellors and principals in the UK is just 20 per cent.

In a recent opinion piece for Times Higher Education (THE) entitled “Leadership goal: more women at the top”, Professor Manfredi questions the message this sends out, particularly when women make up half the workforce at higher education institutions.

Exploring explanations behind this in the THE piece Simonetta said:

“One explanation is that selection and recruitment processes for senior appointments may be affected by the implicit assumption that management is associated with “being male”. This was underscored by a recent study on the career trajectories of men and women in leadership roles published by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education and the Equality Challenge Unit,  Researching the Careers of Top Management Programme Alumni.

The study, which I conducted with colleagues, surveyed more than 180 senior university leaders who are alumni of the Leadership Foundation’s Top Management Programme. Nearly half the female survey respondents felt that they had experienced gender-related bias in their careers.”

To read the full article visit the THE website.

Simonetta is an expert in the field of equality and diversity management and the Centre for Diversity Policy Research and Practice at Oxford Brookes which she heads up celebrated 10 years of research into this area in May last year.

Professor Manfredi said: “The wide-ranging work of the Centre has helped to improve understanding and learning about diversity and played a key role in the development of policy.”

More about the impact of this research, particularly the work of Simonetta and other colleagues on developing policy for greater workplace equality can be found on our dedicated webpages REF webpages.

 

The wide-ranging work of the Centre has helped to improve understanding and learning about diversity and played a key role in the development of policy.

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the new system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The REF results for Oxford Brookes University were published in December and showed that 94%* of research is internationally recognised.

Information about  Professor Simonetta Manfredi and the Centre for Diversity Policy Research and Practice is available on our website.