workplace structure, gender perceptions, gender bias, double bind, leadership development, leadership paradigm, gender expectations


Women remain underrepresented in university presidential positions (American Council on Education, 2017). In this narrative study, eight women presidents of Carnegie Classified public doctoral granting universities were interviewed to understand how they navigated a routeto the position. Findings indicate that perceptions of gender,and opportunities for professional development, complicated the presidential path for women. Also, building leadership capacity was noted as important to sustaining and increasing women leaders in higher education.