This paper analyses differences in perceptions of gender and leadership though qualitative interviews with 45 senior managers in Australia and Turkey. The literature suggests that masculine models of leadership are changing with both women and many men preferring transformational leadership styles. The research found that there were different perceptions about gender and leadership in Australian and Turkish universities, reflecting different economic and social contexts. Turkish respondents mostly did not engage in discussion on the topic and did not consider women experienced discrimination as managers. In contrast, Australian respondents acknowledged discrimination and supported interventions by Vice-Chancellors (VCs) to increase women in university management. Perceptions of leadership in Turkish universities were aligned with a predominantly masculine/transactional model, and in Australia had moved from heroic masculinity to more inclusive leadership styles, consistent with a transformational leadership model.