The Ministry of Education has set to increase the share of women educational leadership by 25 percent this fiscal year. As the adage goes 'Action speaks louder than words,' the Ministry has also assigned 14 women as vice presidents of various universities. No doubt, both the plan and assignment are so laudable. Yet, the Ministry and other pertinent bodies including male education leaders have important jobs to accomplish ahead of them--fighting societal and organizational bias.
The policies, strategies and programs of the education sector are consistent in integrating the issues of women. All of such documents have clear goals laid to involve more women in the leadership position. Diametrically opposite to such unfolding the number of top female education leaders was insignificant. A few years ago, there was only one female at the helm of universities' leadership. This could clearly show that the societal and organizational biases, among other factors, have been playing negative roles.
There are still numerous individuals that find it hard to modify their outmoded attitudes. It is not still an uncommon to hear people stereotyping women as 'incapable' to assume leadership position. Of course, modifying the wrong attitudes would not be achieved overnight. It demands a lot of time, finance and effort.
The top educational leadership position at various levels is male dominated or what some have gone to the extent of nicknaming it as boys' club. Thus, it is less likely for women to be motivated. Men have various worlds of interaction. They could meet "anytime and anywhere" to talk shops. However, due to the stereotyping in the society, it is difficult for women to seize such opportunities--despite little changes nowadays. Plus, men counterparts' intrinsic biases, which are even unnoticeable to them , are also additional discouraging factors. To mention but a few, most, if not all, are heard to laud effective women leaders as having masculine trait or any sort close to it. By extension, women seem to show a bent of depriving themselves as leaders.
When one weighs the decision of the Ministry with in this context, it sounds much appropriate. When more women come to the top leadership position, they could nurture their world. In doing so, they could contribute more to quality education. As the saying goes "Women form half the societies, more women in the leadership means more female students would be motivated and understood. "
The crux of the matter here is, the Ministry's plan deserves continuous backings from every stakeholder. Male counterparts ought to support the women who are already in the leadership and those who would join it soon. The gender directorates at every level of State and City Administrations need to get ahead in designing more awareness raising training and workshops which help the women become more adaptive to changing environments. In addition, they need to remain vigil to check whether pertinent bodies in the leadership are providing the necessary supports or not.