Higher Education Includes Few Women Presidents, and Their Pay Is Lower Than Men’s

By Julia Glum
April 10, 2017

hile more than half of the 20.5 million students enrolled in U.S. institutes of higher education this academic year are female and, statistically, young adult women are more likely than men to have bachelor’s degrees, few women are leading them.

The Eos Foundation, a private philanthropy group based in Massachusetts, recently conducted research that found only 28 percent of public colleges and universities in that state have women in charge—a number the Boston Globe reported could soon decrease to 24 percent, given that there are 29 public schools and Salem State University President Patricia Maguire Meservey announced her retirement in January. Nationally, only about a quarter of college presidents are female, according to a 2011 report by the American Council on Education.

“There’s a lot of unconscious bias against women being the No. 1, at the top, the president, whether that’s the president of the United States, a governor or the president of a college,” Andrea Silbert, the president of the Eos Foundation, tells Newsweek. “The very slight margin that we as women have is to be not too tough, but tough enough.”

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