Skip to main content
Female administrative managers in Australian universities: not male and not academic
Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management
  • Michelle Wallace, Southern Cross University
  • Teresa Marchant, Southern Cross University
Document Type
Publication Date
Peer Reviewed
Women make up 65 per cent of the staff in Australian universities who do not perform academic work. While there is a growing body of research on women in senior management and the experiences of female academics in Australian universities, there is less literature on women working in the administrative stream, especially those in middle management. Using a national sample of 172 university female middle managers, the paper reports on issues for this under-researched cohort. Despite a prevailing Australian paradigm of equal opportunity and anti-discrimination, women commented on many instances of discrimination, masculine culture, inflexibility regarding their carer responsibilities, lack of recognition and opportunity and an academic/administrative divide that was gender inflected. A number of women also queried whether female managers should adopt masculine management styles. Despite indications from this research and the literature that gender issues are worse in other sectors, the numerous comments in this research paint a picture of continued male hegemony that devalues and marginalises administrative women's contribution in the management of Australian universities.
Citation Information

Wallace, MA & Marchant, T 2011, 'Female administrative managers in Australian universities: not male and not academic', Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, vol. 33, no. 6, pp. 567-81.

The publisher's version of this article is available at