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Journal of Public Affairs Education




Professionally trained administrators are critical to the operation and management of governmental agencies. That is particularly true with respect to local government, where city managers are situated at the top of the organizational hierarchy. However, these senior management positions remain largely the domain of males; female represent just 12% of the positions. This disparity, for reasons still unclear, comes to the fore at a time when the field of public administration faces a new set of global challenges, and many in the field have expressed concern about a looming leadership gap. As the world of public administration changes, so must the teaching of the subject, driven by specific areas of inquiry, including why more women do not attain senior executive positions. Using national postsecondary enrollment data, this article demonstrates that the underrepresentation of females among city managers cannot be explained by a shortage of women with professional training. The central conclusion of this research is that professional training programs can better prepare women for the new world of public administration by making gender more visible within the leadership curriculum.


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