Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Women in STEM Leadership in the Academy

Version 1 : Received: 2 November 2019 / Approved: 11 November 2019 / Online: 11 November 2019 (04:53:34 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

McCullough, L. Proportions of Women in STEM Leadership in the Academy in the USA. Educ. Sci. 2020, 10, 1. McCullough, L. Proportions of Women in STEM Leadership in the Academy in the USA. Educ. Sci. 2020, 10, 1.


A considerable body of research exists on women in leadership and likewise on women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields. However, the intersection of the two is terra incognita: women in leadership in STEM. At the most fundamental level, we don’t even have a solid idea of how many women hold leadership positions in STEM. This study determined the proportion of women in leadership positions in several academic STEM areas via a sampling of institutions across the United States and other countries. In every area studied, women held fewer leadership positions than the proportion of female PhDs in those fields. The proportion of women in non-STEM specific top academic leadership roles was also examined to see what proportion of those individuals leading academic institutions might have background in a STEM discipline and how that compares to men in the same positions. This study opens the door to exploring the experiences of women who lead in STEM, which is likely to promote women’s participation in these fields.


gender; leadership; science; STEM; department chair


Social Sciences, Education

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