A Tale of Two Women Leaders: Diversity Policies and Practices in Enterprise Universities

Jane Wilkinson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper explores the ways in which senior female academics' leadership practices are informed and negotiated in relation to a multiplicity of fields. As part of the shift in the logics of practice underpinning the Australian academic terrain, there has been a movement from the implementation of equity policies to that of diversity in relation to the employment of academic staff, characterised by neoliberal discourses of new public management which favour the production of the individualistic, entrepreneurial academic identity as opposed to notions of collectivity and the public good. However, diversity policies are not the sole texts that inform the ways in which many women leaders operate, nor the most important in guiding the practices they produce. Drawing on a larger study of representations of women's leadership in the media and academia, this paper examines how two leading female academics drew upon a range of logics of practices within the different fields of academia, feminism and Indigenous rights to inform their leadership practices. In so doing, the women contested the emergent logic of practice underpinning the contemporary Australian academic field. Such contestation can be considered one of the 'subaltern' consequences of policy regimes and forms an integral part of policy fields.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)39-54
    Number of pages16
    JournalAustralian Educational Researcher
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


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