Female educational leadership in the UK and Greece

Anastasia Mitroussi (Cardiff School of Social Sciences and Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK)
Kyriaki Mitroussi (Cardiff School of Social Sciences and Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK)

Gender in Management

ISSN: 1754-2413

Publication date: 2 October 2009



The purpose of this paper is to concentrate on investigating the role of gender on educational leadership in the context of two differing cultures. The focus will be on exploring whether gender appears to impact on the leadership roles in education by examining the extent of female participation in leadership across educational levels in Greece and the UK, highlighting differences and similarities between them.


This paper examines secondary data on a number of issues, like the proportion of women in lower and higher ranking teaching posts across education sectors. Such data are retrieved from official national and international statistics, such as UNESCO, Eurostat, the Office of National Statistics UK and the Higher Education Statistics Agency, UK, as well as previous academic studies.


The results of the analysis reveal that in both countries, fewer women than men reach top rank positions in education, particularly in secondary and higher education.

Research limitations/implications

The investigation will rely on the use of secondary data collected from a number of diverse national and international sources as well as from existing literature. The choice of secondary data is judged to bae appropriate on the basis of this paper and its research aim. Examination of women's presence across educational sectors in the two selected countries required obtaining information about actual and not representative, overall numbers or percentages of women in educational posts. Such information can only be positively retrieved by national or international, official statistics, while even these, the investigation revealed, can show variations between them.

Practical implications

The paper should raise awareness to women's under‐representation in leadership positions in education, especially at the secondary and the tertiary education levels.


Leadership has been acknowledged as a decisive component in education namely due to the improvements it brings in many areas. The complexity and diversity surrounding leadership has turned attention to the effect of a number of factors on the practice of leadership educational context, such as gender and culture. Therefore, the present paper concentrates on an exploration of the effect of gender in leadership in education. Also, the cross‐cultural investigation between Greece and the UK, allows for constructive comparisons to take place where appropriate.



Mitroussi, A. and Mitroussi, K. (2009), "Female educational leadership in the UK and Greece", Gender in Management, Vol. 24 No. 7, pp. 505-522. https://doi.org/10.1108/17542410910991791

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