Books for Moms in Higher Education Administration and  Leadership

Leading up to Mother’s Day, we’re celebrating all the amazing moms in higher education who are assisting students administratively, often while raising up young minds at home. 

If you’re on that path, we know it’s a balancing act. We hope some of these books can help energize and inform you as you grow your career in higher education.

mother working at computer with two young children in background

1. A Leadership Guide for Women in Higher Education by Marjorie Hass

This recent book speaks to the unique challenges women face professionally when heading towards senior positions at the university. Hass is the president of Rhodes College and wrote the book after her experiences advising and connecting other women in search of career growth.

Why it’s worth checking out: This guide is designed for all stages of your career and offers practical insights on a wide range of topics, from managing conflict to becoming comfortable with power and ambition.

2. Mothers in Academia edited by Mari Castañeda and Kirsten Isgro 

Of the books on this list, this is the only one we found which focuses on essays of real mothers’ experiences and discusses higher education administration. While more of the collection is about professors and grad students, this book also includes the topic of administrators.

Why it’s worth checking out: If you are a mother in higher ed, you may feel seen when reading these essays. You may also get some ideas on how to surmount, cope with, or simply be aware of structural challenges. 

3. Women in Academic Leadership: Professional Strategies, Personal Choices edited by Diane R. Dean, Susan J. Bracken and Jeanie K. Allen

This book collects perspectives from women leaders in academic administration on navigating career, gender and race barriers, equity, and advancement.

Why it’s worth checking out: While a little more “academic” in its content, so to speak, this book also offers diverse thoughts on taking your career to the next level and a list of potentially useful leadership programs.

4. I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This by Kate White

Not strictly a higher ed book, this book is a career guide for women in both earlier stages and mid-career, written by the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan. It features tips on getting ahead, relating to supervisors, managing, and more.

Why it’s worth checking out: The book is lauded by reviewers as useful for women across many industries, as well as for working mothers.   

5. Women and Leadership in Higher Education edited by Karen A. Longman and Susan R. Madsen

An overview of the theory and practice of women’s leadership in higher education, Women and Leadership offers a look at the current state of affairs, some effective models for leadership development, and (towards the end) lessons from women in senior leadership. 

Why it’s worth checking out: This book is a look at the bigger picture of, you guessed it, women leadership in higher education and how to encourage it. If you like your career insights with a large side of context, this might be a good one for you.

Woman shows another woman something on the computer

Hope these books give you valuable nuggets of wisdom and insight on your career path and growth as a leader. We salute your efforts. 

Want a downloadable ebook with these resources for women in Higher Education Leadership? Fill out the form below:


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Lindsey Johnson

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Lindsey is on Olark's Customer Support team and previously worked in higher education. When she is not in the office, she enjoys spending time with her dog and two cats, playing video games, building mechanical keyboards, and crafting.