Braving the bull: women, mentoring and leadership in higher education

Tara Brabazon, Sam Schulz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Global neoliberalism is allowing manifold social inequalities to intensify under the ‘fair’ and neutral language of the market. On the eve of International Women's Day 2017, the statue Fearless Girl was installed facing Wall Street's iconic Charging Bull, drawing to attention the ongoing gendered nature of these dynamics. Similar relations are transforming the field of higher education giving us pause to question implications for academic women. Using Fearless Girl as provocation, we critically consider our positionality as women involved in a mentoring programme once designed to redress underrepresentation of women in senior academic positions, now standardised to upskill a broad base of academics according to institutional benchmarks. Exploration of our subjectivities within a rapidly ‘neoliberalising’ milieu leads us to query if our formal mentoring programme can work in favour of gender equity. Questions to emerge for us raise broader questions about gender, mentoring and leadership in higher education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)873-890
Number of pages18
JournalGender and Education
Issue number7
Early online date2018
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2020


  • entrepreneurial university
  • Gender
  • higher education
  • leadership
  • mentoring
  • neoliberalism
  • women


Dive into the research topics of 'Braving the bull: women, mentoring and leadership in higher education'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this