Sustainable Development Goal 5 aims to achieve women’s full and effective participation as well as equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making. Our research focuses on the higher education sector and aims to analyse the current gender gap in Italian universities. Specifically, this paper studies the effective presence of women in leadership role through the disclosure provided in gender reports. The research approach is based on a content analysis of the gender reports published by Italian universities, collecting information about the presence of women in academic leadership roles (such as rector, board of directors, school president, department director, etc.). This research has an exploratory nature as, to the best of our knowledge, previous studies have not analysed this topic in Italian higher institutions. It also represents a possible bridge between two different research areas: gender gap studies and social reporting. The results provide an instrument for evaluating the effectiveness of the gender policies in the university sector for national policymakers (such as the Ministry of Education and Italian Rectors Conference) and rectors and board members of higher institutions.