Women in Higher Education Management: Agents for Cultural and Structural Change?
This article examines whether and under which conditions a rising participation of women in higher education management contributes to cultural and structural change in science and research. In Austria, the introduction of a statutory quota regulation for university decision-making bodies like the rectorate, the senate, or the university council brought about a rapid and substantial increase in the share of female rectors and vice rectors. However, there are also gender-specific differences among rectorate members: women are significantly younger than men when they take up a rectorate position and switch less frequently from a professorship to such a position. This situation and the gender expertise of the rectors and vice rectors themselves contribute to the potential for change. Explicit gender equality goals and the establishment of gender competence as a qualification criterion for all rectors and vice rectors would be needed to make use of the potential of women in the rectorate to be agents for cultural and structural change.