Just 18 per cent of the top 200 universities are led by women, according to data.
Research of data by Times Higher Education World University Rankings discovered that less than one-fifth of the universities have a female at their helm.
Whilst this is a slight increase from 2016’s data, which saw 17 per cent representation, the percentage means that just 36 out of 200 have a female leader.
Sweden continues to be a leader in gender equality, with four out of six Swedish institutions having a female in charge.
Six out of the 36 female leaders are based in the UK, including vice-chancellor of the world’s highest-ranked institution, the University of Oxford, Louise Richardson.
Out of the 28 countries that feature in the top 200, 17 have no female university leaders.
Figures published by the American Council on Education concluded that American female leaders of universities were more likely than men to be first-time college presidents, at 78 per cent. Women also had shorter tenures in their presidency than men.
Women were also more likely than men to have stepped down or changed career progression to ‘care for others’, at 32 per cent against just 16 per cent for men.
The research, conducted by the American College President Study, surveyed 1,546 university leaders.
The top universities led by women are:
- University of Oxford (United Kingdom): Led by Louise Richardson
- Harvard University (United States): Led by Drew Faust
- Imperial College London (United Kingdom): Led by Alice Gast
- University of California,Berkeley (United States): Led by Carol Christ
- University of Pennsylvania (United States): Led by Amy Gutmann
- Cornell University (United States): Led by Martha E Pollack
- London School of Economics & Political Science (United Kingdom): Led by Julia Black
- University of Washington (United States): Led by Ana Mari Cauce
- McGill University (Canada): Led by Suzanne Fortier
- University of Wisconsin-Madison (United States): Led by Rebecca Blank