Gender in universities and participation in governing bodies

It is a widely recognised phenomenon within Spanish universities that as the level of power and responsibility increases, so the number of women occupying elevated positions decreases. In view of the fact that university governance in Spain is based largely on a participatory system, the aim of our study was to observe how teaching staff participate in their governing bodies. Descriptive and exploratory in approach, our study examined participation in university governing bodies according to gender. The findings enabled us to identify trends rather than conclusions. These point to a style of participation among female teaching staff that is constructive, assertive, co-initiating and supportive. The results also highlighted variables other than gender that have a bearing on the type of participation.

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