Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Leadership (Ed.D.)

Type of Paper/Work



Sarah Noonan, Jayne Sommers, Aura Wharton- Beck



This study examined the participation and experiences of women faculty and administrators in higher education in Uganda and how the culture of higher education impacted their leadership. I adopted a qualitative methodology and an ethnographic case study approach to explore how women faculty and administrators participated and experienced the culture of higher education in Uganda. I used a purposeful sampling to critically select 20 participants based on their senior leadership positions within five universities. To ensure study triangulation, data collection constituted three fundamental methods namely, in-depth face-to-face interviews, observation, and review of documents pertinent to the study. I adopted post-colonial feminist theory (Ashcroft et al., 1995; Rosser, 2007) and gender and leadership (Northouse, 2019; Eagly & Carli, 2017) to analyze and interpret the results. The findings revealed participants faced disparities during their childhood education resulting from the inherited colonial education system which overlooked women’s education. This has continued to affect how society views women’s status. As a result, women continued to experience subtle and invisible gender-related obstacles not only in their career advancement but also along their trajectory to higher education leadership. Despite all the hurdles women faced, women leaders negotiated and navigated through a leadership labyrinth and attained leadership positions. Using effective leadership, women acted as change agents who exhibited resilience and unwavering commitment to breaking through the stereotypes and biases. Women leaders not only served at the institutional level but also provided leadership in the community as a whole. A campaign to put to an end the gender stereotypes and biasness and obtain an increased number of women in higher education leadership will involve combined efforts of parents, teachers, women leaders, institutions, and the community at large.

Keywords: Higher education, women leadership, culture, gender, labyrinth.


Keywords: Higher education, women leadership, culture, gender, labyrinth.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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