Since June I have been in Hong Kong interviewing senior and executive women in leadership in universities for my Honours research. This Friday I will be presenting some preliminary findings at an event hosted by the Women’s Studies Research Centre and Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong, supporting the UN’s HeForShe initiative at HKU.

The Asia Pacific region has the fastest growing higher education sector in the world, but there is a severe lack of women in leadership. In Hong Kong there are no women presidents and out of a total of 110 positions at the level of dean and above, only 8 women hold a senior leadership role. This is despite universities having more women enrolled than men and a slate of equal opportunities policies and anti-discrimination legislation firmly in place – effectively mitigating or reducing overt barriers to advancement.

So why are there still so few women in leadership in universities? What are their main challenges and opportunities? And are the drivers for women’s leadership similar or different? While my finished thesis will outline a more full picture of women’s experiences in both locations the purpose of this presentation is to draw out some key themes in terms of the challenges to women’s leadership in Hong Kong.

For those who are Hong Kong-based, you are welcome to attend this presentation and following discussion on the 30th of October 2015 at 12.30-2pm in room 408A-410A, Meng Wah Complex. For those who want to know more but can’t attend, don’t hesitate to get in contact!