Women comprise 89% of Washington University’s leadership cabinet

Rebecca Brown, vice chancellor, secretary to the Board of Trustees and chief of staff, and Chancellor Andrew D. Martin congratulate graduates at the 2019 December recognition ceremony. Brown is one of eight women in Martin’s nine-member cabinet. (Photo: Sid Hastings/Washington University)

Women continue to be underrepresented in top jobs in America’s institutions of higher education, holding less than 40% of executive leadership roles. One notable exception is Washington University in St. Louis, where women comprise 89% of Chancellor Andrew D. Martin’s cabinet and 56% of the university leadership council.

Martin did not set out to fill his nine-member cabinet almost exclusively with women; he simply wanted the best people. To ensure women were in the mix, he sought leaders with impressive talent, not necessarily impressive titles. Martin also established family-friendly policies and created a culture that welcomes diverse ideas.

“A lot of social science shows that women will only apply for a job if they meet every requirement, while men will apply if they meet a few criteria,” said Martin, who assumed the chancellorship in 2019. “From an academic leadership perspective, you have to wonder who you are missing. That’s why I consider it part of my job to find and proactively encourage talented women to take that next step in their career. It’s equally important to develop a deep bench of talent who will be ready to serve as the next generation of higher education decision makers.”

Read full story in The Source