Amid changes at the top, Central Mass. colleges lag behind in having women presidents

Worcester Business Journal
By Timothy Doyle

As the Central Massachusetts higher education community awaits the results of presidential searches at Assumption University and Worcester Polytechnic Institute, a new report shows the region is significantly behind the stagnated state in having women as leaders.

Among the 13 Central Massachusetts colleges and universities with permanent leaders in place, two are women, or 15%. In Massachusetts, 34% of college presidents are women, according to a study conducted by the Eos Foundation’s Women’s Power Gap Campaign.

Through the campaign, Eos Foundation, a nonprofit based in Harwich Port, aims to radically increase the number of women from diverse backgrounds among CEO and C-suite leaders nationally according to a Wednesday press release. It has been documenting the power imbalance in institutions of higher learning in Massachusetts since 2018 and nationally since 2021.

“After four years, we expected to see more progress overall for women. Women make up 57% of higher education students in Massachusetts and have been getting the majority of PhDs for nearly two decades. We should already have achieved gender parity among presidents, but instead we have hit a ceiling,” said Eos Foundation President Andrea Silbert in the release.

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