Whenever I hear the word teacher, a mother-like figure would come into my mind. Growing up as a student, teachers were always women to me, and their male counterparts were masters. But masters were always strict, unapproachable people who forever carried a cane to punish you. On the other side, teachers were compassionate human beings, always smiling and making you comfortable whenever you ask them for help. Somehow, in the Indian education system, teachers hardly reached leadership positions, as the strict masters evidently outnumbered them when they both arrived at the top of the career pyramid.
Many academicians in the higher education sector have claimed that it is still a male-dominated sector at the top, despite having a women-friendly image. Though there is a large number of women in the education sector as a whole, they represent an extremely low share in terms of leadership roles. The women who reached the leadership roles have indeed found it a challenging experience. A handful of them might have felt the weight of the gender difference and wondered if the loneliness that accompanied those positions was worth it. Yes, the ‘glass ceiling is evident, and it is hard to break, but not unbreakable. So, let us talk about the women who did it.
In this issue, we have come up with ‘10 Most Influential Women Leaders in Indian Education’ who are changing the world by grabbing a seat they deserve at the table. On the cover, we feature Dr Vineeta K Saluja, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Mangalayatan University, who has accomplished many milestones and overcome unforeseen obstacles at various stages. We hope our efforts to bring the untold stories of women leaders in Indian education would inspire those great teachers who are considering a move to a leadership position in the education sector.