Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Professional women in higher education management : practices, career strategies and approaches to leadership
Author: Poli, Susi
ISNI:       0000 0004 7230 4361
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
The study aims to investigate the problem of the under-representation of women as leaders in Higher Education institutions in three European countries, England, Italy and Sweden. In doing so, it focusses on a group of women and their career experiences in becoming institutional leaders. Specifically, the women in this study are those with a professional career, having started off in an administrative or management role, in HE, in another sector, or in a profession. Their leadership roles include head of administration, academic registrar, and deputy or pro-vice-chancellor. The decision to choose professional women as leaders resulted from gaps of knowledge in the literature but also from my experience as a woman and senior manager in the sector. Methodologically, the study uses Giddens’ interrelated concepts of structure and agency to look at the factors influencing women’s careers. In doing so, it focusses on how these women have used personal agency as a response to structural barriers encountered in their career, and also how they positioned themselves once they became leaders. Empirically, a total of fifteen interviews were conducted in the three countries with accounts thematically analysed. The findings report four categories of practices that women opt for to succeed in career, these being identification, moral duty, super-confidence, and dedication to professional development in the field of practice. Further findings shed light on eight areas of influence where it is more likely to find key factors personally and professionally; these refer to the sector and its institutions, career routes, age and leadership, academic credibility, among others. The conclusions and the original contribution to the field show that women have gained a fair understanding of themselves as players within the sector, while they understand that men are still more likely to rule the most important choices affecting their careers as leaders.
Supervisor: Whitchurch, C. ; Carpentier, V. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available