More women become university leaders - equality still far away

13 May 2016

Credits:@ European Commission

EUA has updated its latest data on women in leadership positions within Europe’s universities. The results confirm a slow but steady rise in the number of female leaders.

Of the rectors in EUA’s database, 15% are currently women, compared to 11% in 2014 and 6% in 2008. The trend is clear and positive for gender equality. However, the differences between individual countries remain large, with about one third of rectors in Sweden, Norway and Finland being women, while a number of countries have less than 10%.

Female full professors remain a minority. According to the latest European Commission "She Figures” data on women in research, only one in five full professors is a woman. As rectors are usually taken from the pool of full professors, this could be a major bottleneck for equal representation of men and women in university leadership. In the countries with the highest number of female university leaders, the percentage of female rectors is already much higher than the percentage of female full professors.

For those interested in this topic, the European Women Rectors Association will hold its inaugural meeting in Brussels on 20 June in order to promote policies for more women in leadership positions.

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