University of Otago vice-chancellor Harlene Hayne addresses
about 70 participants in a symposium for future women
leaders in tertiary education. Photo by Jane Dawber.
University of Otago vice-chancellor Harlene Hayne
yesterday urged future women tertiary academic leaders to use
their creativity to manage the "work-life blur".
Some commentators urge finding the correct "work-life
balance", but Prof Hayne said the two could not be kept
They sometimes formed a "blur" and she suggested tertiary
staff could find their individual, creative ways to gain the
best from both academic and family life.
She believed it was now possible to "have it all"- and that
university women "no longer have to make a choice between
their work and their family".
The two-day national symposium, for people who had completed
an earlier New Zealand Women in Leadership programme, was
being held in Dunedin for the first time.
In a keynote address, she emphasised the importance of
pioneering women, such as the first Otago woman graduate
Caroline Freeman, who graduated in 1885, in helping pave the
way for later female scholars at Otago University.
Prof Hayne said she had experienced no career impediments at
Otago because she was a woman.
"Otago has been a great place for me to have a gender-blind
"The conference theme was "Leadership: Collaboration or
Female leaders should be keen to collaborate, but also to be
ready to compete if required, she said.
In many matters there was scope for compromise but "when you
are right, you really do need to stick to your guns".
When she had been appointed as vice-chancellor, media
interviewers had asked her what she thought of having become
Otago's first female vice-chancellor. She noted she was also
the university's first American vice-chancellor, and a
She paid tribute to two US academic mentors, psychologists
Carolyn Rovee-Collier and Elizabeth Loftus, who had both
contributed to her academic development.