This article considers the ambivalent and contradictory positions that women in senior leadership roles in universities occupy. And while women continue to be numerically in the minority in senior leadership positions, this relative invisibility can work to their advantage; they are neither inside nor outside of the university hierarchy. Inside/outside presents a useful metaphor as it foregrounds the ambivalences and contradictions women leaders experience. Drawing on a two year project, I tease out ways in which women navigate their institutional and individual positioning as leaders. These offer a glimpse into the formal and informal ways in which women shape and contest prevailing leadership practices.