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Te Manahua New Zealand Universities Women in Leadership Programme (NZUWiL)

Developing women leaders in the university sector

Are you a potential leader?

The Te Manahua New Zealand Universities Women in Leadership Programme (NZUWiL) exists to support, encourage and contribute to the development of women who are, or aspire to be, leaders within the university sector. Our goal is to increase women’s leadership capabilities and influence by enhancing their personal, professional and national-level skills and networks. This nationwide programme is endorsed by Universities New Zealand and developed by a steering group of experienced academic and senior women leaders. The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy, Governor-General of New Zealand, was our Patron for her five-year term in office from 2017–2021

Initial seed funding to set up the programme was provided by the Kate Edger Educational Charitable Trust, named in recognition of Kate Milligan Edger (1857–1935), the first woman to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in the British Empire. Each programme participant is funded by their university.

We offer two five-day residential Te Manahua New Zealand Universities Women in Leadership programmes a year. The first – for women in academic positions – is in June and the second – for women in professional staff roles – in August. For confirmation of programme dates, email your university's key contact person or the programme convenor, listed below.

We also offer a Discipline Pod Programme for academic women employed at one of the eight New Zealand universities who are earlier in their academic career and from disciplines with particular equity and/or human capital challenges. The first pilot programme was held in 2017 and a further two programmes, for different discipline pod groupings, in 2018 and 2020.

For more information on the Te Manahua NZUWiL Programme and its purpose, focus, background and model, see our booklet – New Zealand Universities Women in Leadership Programme: Diversity in Leadership, promoting better sector performance. There is also an infographic highlighting 12 years of achievements, a summary of an independent programme review conducted in 2019 by Lumin, and background information on our Te Manahua NZUWiL logo and Māori name.

Who can attend Te Manahua NZUWiL programmes?

This programmes are for women employed by one of New Zealand's eight universities. Each university is responsible for selecting and funding at least two nominees for each programme. University women interested in applying should get in touch with their university's key contact person, listed below, who can provide more information on the internal university application and selection process and timeframe.

We provide five-day residential programmes for two related target groups:

  • Women in, or aspiring to, senior leadership positions in academia such as professors, associate professors, heads of school or departments, associate deans, chairs of major university committees or principal investigators on major research projects.
  • Women in, or aspiring to, senior administrative leadership positions. This includes those responsible for budgets and people, including directors or managers of student administration, facilities management, student services, communications and marketing, student recruitment, human resources, international, legal, library, faculty registrars and school managers from large schools.

The Te Manahua NZUWiL Programme is committed to encouraging diversity and inclusion, so we welcome people from a wide variety of backgrounds and disciplines. We are particularly keen to assist women from under-represented groups, such as women in science and engineering, or Māori and Pasifika women and women from a range of minority ethnic communities – e.g., Asian, Indian, African – to participate in the programme.

In 2011 the steering group established two partially funded Te Manahua NZUWiL Scholarships for Māori and Pasifika women for our five-day residential programmes. The universities are invited to select and submit their nominations for these scholarship places in addition to the two nominations already sought. Information can be provided by your university's key contact person, listed below. To date we have awarded 45 scholarships and have seen an increase in the overall diversity of our participant groups.

Our Discipline Pod Programme, held over three days, is designed for women at lecturer and senior lecturer levels with a completed doctorate who are academic staff members from the targeted discipline group. We will consider nominations from women in roles such as postdoctorate research, research fellows and senior tutors working in the target disciplines, but priority is given to permanent, tenured academics. All nominees need to be endorsed and funded by their dean and head of department – i.e., home department and/or faculty. 

What do our programmes involve?

We run two five-day intensive, interactive residential programmes, designed to stimulate, engage and boost the skills, leadership capacity and capability of women who attend. Those selected gain a great deal and in return are expected to fully participate throughout the programme, including completing some pre-work. They should also be willing to host follow-up activities at their university and/or school/department. We want to build strong networks of women within tertiary institutions so women leaders are supported, recognised and valued.

To find out what is included in the programmes, see the 2021 programme for academic women and the 2022 programme for women in professional positions. Note: due to the impact of Covid 19 we deferred our 2020 programmes to 2021.

The Discipline Pod Programme for academic women earlier in their career runs over three days and provides an opportunity for participants to build on their network, join the national network of Te Manahua NZUWiL women from a range of disciplines and increase their academic identity and influence within their universities and discipline.

To find out what was included in previous Discipline Pod Programmes, see the 2020 programme and 2018 programme. Preparation for a further programme to be held in 2022 has been paused due to the impact of Covid-19.

What do women gain from attending our programmes?

The benefits are many. Some are personal gains; others help your university and wider environment as well. Women who have attended tell us the benefits included:

  • Successful promotion to a more senior leadership role after attending.
  • Increasing the pool of women in senior leadership and management positions.
  • Women leaders who become more confident and visible. Participants have successfully increased their public profile after implementing skills gained in ours programmes.
  • Better gender balance in senior roles within universities, something Universities New Zealand is committed to achieving.
  • Stronger networks between women, both within universities and nationally. Participants have gone on to collaborate on research or producing papers.
  • Greater leadership skills for women attending, whether in research, teaching or administration.
  • A better environment in universities and tertiary organisations, through more women leaders who are strong, capable and confident.

What kind of women attend the programmes?

Women from a wide variety of disciplines, backgrounds, ages and geographical areas have attended the five-day residential programmes. Read the profiles of some participants from previous programmes. So far, 532 women have attended the programmes: 298 academic women and 234 professional staff. All of New Zealand’s eight universities have sent participants.

The Discipline Pod Programme is run over three days for different discipline pod groupings for academic women employed as senior lecturers and lecturers. Read the profiles of some of the participants from previous programmes. So far, 55 academic women from all eight New Zealand universities have attended this programme. Disciplines have included mathematics, statistics, accounting, finance, geology, geography, information systems, engineering, environmental sciences and computer science.

What results have the programmes achieved?

An infographic summarising 12+ years of achievements is here.

Examples include:

  • A group of Te Manahua NZUWiL alumnae have funding and senior leadership support for further two-day symposiums held biennially and hosted in Wellington, Dunedin, Auckland and Christchurch. Waikato alumnae hosted an online symposium from Hamilton over two days in 2020 and co-hosted a session with the Australian WATTLE Women in Leadership Group.
  • Our alumnae, in liaison with the steering group, have hosted regional-based half-day alumnae roadshows.
  • Collaboration with the Australian WATTLE Women in Leadership steering group on new leadership programme initiatives based on the Te Manahua NZUWiL Programme model and material and with Universities New Zealand's Te Kahui Amokura on the proposal for a pilot Māori Academic Development Programme.
  • A group of our alumnae produced a pan-university research paper on women's experience in academia titled Learning to Be Leaders in Higher Education: What Helps or Hinders Women's Advancement as Leaders in Universities [DOI Reference:10.1177/1741143210383896].
  • Otago members of our alumnae have produced a paper on the gender pay gap, which was presented at the inaugural Te Manahua NZUWiL Alumnae Conference in Auckland.
  • Anecdotal feedback tells us the Te Manahua NZUWiL Programme has helped alumnae achieve promotion to a more senior leadership role or to lead research or a significant project or university initiative.
  • Many alumnae have increased their media profile and/or been invited to speak on issues due to their increased confidence in their expertise and role as an academic or professional staff member gained from the Te Manahua NZUWiL Programme.

Te Manahua NZUWiL video profiles

Nine women in positions of leadership at New Zealand universities, who participated in one of our programmes, have been interviewed about their experiences and perspectives on what leadership means to them. View the videos at Universities New Zealand's YouTube channel.

Those interviewed are Tracy Huntleigh-Smith (University of Otago), Elizabeth Aitken Rose (University of Auckland), Deanna Riach (formerly Massey University), Claire Robinson (Massey University), Carol Smith (Lincoln University), Anna Brown (Massey University), Hayley Schnell (formerly University of Auckland), Margaret Hyland (formerly University of Auckland, now Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington), Kate McGrath (formerly Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington) and Sonia Mazey (University of Canterbury).

Te Manahua NZUWiL Steering Group (as of 1 December 2021)

Co-Chairs

Professor Candice Harris, Head of Department, Management, AUT – NZUWiL alumna

Hanlie du Plessis, Director Human Resources and Employment Relations, University of Waikato – NZUWiL alumna

Members

Professor Candice Harris, AUT – NZUWiL alumna

Margaret Morgan, University of Otago – NZUWiL alumna

Hanlie du Plessis, University of Waikato – NZUWiL alumna

Associate Professor Kim Dirks, University of Auckland – NZUWiL alumna

Associate Professor Mele Taumoepeau, University of Otago – NZUWiL alumna

Professor Clemency Montelle, University of Canterbury – NZUWiL alumna

Professor Karen Stockin, Massey University – NZUWiL alumna

Angela Geerts, Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington

Te Manahua NZUWiL advisors

Dr Dianne McCarthy, Managing Director, DCM Solutions Limited

Professor Judy McGregor, Associate Dean – Research, Faculty Culture & Society, AUT

Professor Sarah Leberman, School of Management, Massey University

Professor Gill Dobbie, Computer Science, University of Auckland – NZUWiL alumna

Annemarie de Castro, formerly Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington

Key university contacts (as of November 2021)

University of Auckland, Organisational Development Manager – Leadership – Anna Field

AUT, Director Talent and Culture – Kate Birch

University of Waikato, Director Human Resources and Employment Relations – Hanlie du Plessis

Massey University, Executive Assistant to HR Director – Coralie Weller

Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington, Director, Human Resources – Angela Geerts

University of Canterbury, Director – People and Culture – Amanda Derry

Lincoln University, Director Human Resources – Karen McEwan 

University of Otago, Head of Organisational Development – Denise Lindsay

Inquiries

Contact Universities New Zealand

Sarah Schulz, Te Manahua NZUWiL Programme Convenor

 

Updated 1 February 2022