There is a significant shortage of female academic leaders in the higher education system of the country, as only 6.67% of Indian institutes are headed by women, says a report.
According to Edushine Advisory Group, a strategic management consulting firm specialising in higher education in the country, India’s Gender Inequality Index (GII) is 0.563 which is worse than the world average of 0.450.
The report which assessed percentage of females in positions of influence such as Vice-Chancellors or Directors in 810 institutions of higher education in India, found that only 6.67% institutions (54 out of 810) are headed by females.
“Recently, government regulations have increased female participation in corporate board rooms, however, it is important for us to create female academic leaders who can inspire young girls during their study days to take up leadership roles,” EduShine Managing Partner Kalpesh Banker said.
Though gender gap in academic leadership is a global phenomenon, India lags much behind the developed countries like the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom which have female participation at leadership level at 18%, 21% and 17%, respectively.
Female participation at top positions in Indian universities is negligible. Moreover, the most prestigious institutions in India have no female academic heads, the report said.
It noted that Central universities have the highest female participation as 9.8% institutes (5 out of 51) are headed by females, while, State universities have only 8.61% (28 out of 325).
Institutes of national importance that includes IITs, NITs, IISERs, AIIMS have only 5.47% (4 out of 73) representation at director level.
Interestingly, India has registered significant progress in female enrollment in education. In 1950-51, India’s female enrollment ratio was 14 females per 100 males. By 2013-2014, it has improved to 80 females per 100 males, the report added.
The institutions covered in the research includes all the universities categorised into Central University, State University, State Private University, Deemed University, Institute of National Importance and IIMs.