Although much has been written about leaders and leadership, we unfortunately know little about the women who fill this particular role.This book - the first in a series that explores women leaders in different contexts - remedies this gap by presenting the reflections of nine women community college, college, and university presidents on what they see as key tenets of leadership, illuminated by pivotal events in their careers.These presidents know the power of words, and in telling their stories through these interviews, they let us know who they are, what their visions are, and what they value. While they express some differences in their emphases on particular leadership characteristics, they show remarkable unanimity in their beliefs as to which are the most important - competence, credibility, and communication.The participants discuss the growing opportunities for women in higher education administration, without minimizing the barriers that still exist, nor the potential for backlash against powerful and assertive women.
They stress the need for women to be very careful about making the correct choices for themselves; to balance personal life and work; and to appropriately prepare for leadership.This book both breaks new ground, and offers guidance for women who aspire to positions of leadership - in any field of endeavor.The Presidents are: Gretchen M. Bataille, Barbara Douglass, Mildred Garcia, Carol C. Harter, Mamie Howard-Golladay, Martha T. Nesbitt, Pamela Sue Shockley-Zalabak, Betty L. Siegel, and Karen Gayton Swisher. Each confronts her world with grace, her work with passion, and her life with enthusiasm.The Series: "Pathways to Leadership" is a series about successful women who have reached the pinnacle of their careers. It features stories about extraordinary women who have found paths to success - whether it's leading a college or university or becoming successful scholars in science and engineering or thriving in some other male-dominated arena. Here, women leaders recount how they have succeeded in a man's world. It is an unique management guide entirely from a woman's perspective. It is inspirational, visionary, and realistic.
Mimi Wolverton is a retired professor of higher education. Beverly L. Bower is Associate Professor of higher education at Florida State University. Adrienne E. Hyle is Professor of educational leadership at Oklahoma State University.