This paper aims to stimulate discussion on women’s participation in higher education (HE) leadership. The review examines international literature and the diverse theoretical frameworks and vocabularies that are marshalled to examine factors that may drive or depress women’s aspirations and career orientations. The global literature can be classified into at least four analytical frameworks: gendered divisions of labour (Lynch, 2010); gender bias and misrecognition (Bardoel et al. 2011); management and masculinity (Billing, 2011); and greedy organisations and work/life balance challenges (Currie et al, 2002; Guillaume and Pochic, 2009). The paper also includes examples of structured interventions that have been developed to encourage more women to enter leadership positions in universities.