A 2022 Women’s Power Gap Initiative study titled “The Women’s Power Gap At Elite Universities: Scaling the Ivory Tower,” ranked Brandeis number five out of all 130 R1 universities for gender diversity.

The ranking was executed by awarding points based on three categories: first, “President: Do you now have, or have you ever had, a woman president? How many?” Second, “Provost: Is a woman holding this position?” Third, “Teams: What percentage do women represent among academic deans, president’s cabinet, and tenured full professors?” 

Since its founding, Brandeis has had one female president: Evelyn E. Handler, who served from 1983 to 1991. Handler sought to increase diversity during her time at Brandeis, according to the Robert D. Farber University Archives and Special Collections. Additionally, Lisa M. Lynch was the interim president of the University from 2015 to 2016; however, the study did not count interim positions. 

The study reported that 80% of the academic deans at Brandeis are women, the highest percentage of the study. All but one of the academic leaders are female, including Wendy Cadge, dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences; Kathryn Graddy (ECON), Dean of Brandeis International Business School; Dorothy L. Hodgson (ANTH), dean of the School of Arts and Sciences; and Lynn Rosansky, vice president of the Rabb School of Continuing Studies, as listed by the Office of the Provost

Another factor contributing to Brandeis’ high ranking is having a female provost. Carol A. Fierke Ph.D ’84 is the current provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. 

Additional categories in the study include whether a university currently has a female president, the percentage of people in the president’s cabinet who are female, and the percentage of tenured full professors who are women. For Brandeis, 14% of the president’s cabinet and 35% of tenured full professors are female. 

The possible categories for a university to be ranked in are “Leader,” “Almost There,” “Work to Do,” and “Needs Urgent Action.” Brandeis was one of 13 universities categorized as “Leader,” with 78.9 points out of the possible 100.