Just 20.8% of senior academic staff at the University of
Otago are female, putting the institution behind all but one of
the other seven universities in New Zealand, a recent report
Otago's percentage of female professors and associate
professors had increased from 15.6% in 2007, but only Lincoln
University had a worse current ratio of 17.1%.
Otago had the lowest percentage of female professors this
year (13.3%), according to data published in the latest New
Zealand Census of Women's Participation.
The university had 32 female professors and 68 female
Waikato University had the highest percentage (29.59%) of
female senior academic staff and the highest number of female
Equality for women in pay and job opportunities was a topic
of discussion in Dunedin last week, when lawyer and former
Massey University professor Dr Judy McGregor visited the
city. She said New Zealand women still had a long way to go
to gain full equality.
Dr McGregor, the Equal Employment Rights Commissioner,
participated in a two-day national symposium for aspiring
female leaders in tertiary education at the University of
She felt "frustrated" and somewhat "grumpy" that many women
were still not being paid equally for their contribution to
the national workforce, including in the public sector.
Dr McGregor had been the Equal Employment Opportunities
Commissioner at the Human Rights Commission for a decade and
prepared the recently-published women's participation census,
having also initiated the series.
She told those at the New Zealand Women in Leadership
symposium about her "worry" that New Zealand women were still
not achieving full equality, despite the many women
graduating. Women comprised less than 25% of the country's
senior tertiary academic staff.
Dr McGregor acknowledged several positive aspects of Otago
University academic life, including transparency over
professorial pay rates.
Some overall progress was being made, but New Zealand women
were still lagging too far behind, including in company
boardroom representation, she said.
Women should not have to wait further decades to achieve full
job and pay equality, she said.
Otago University vice-chancellor Prof Harlene Hayne also
spoke at the symposium, about continuing efforts to support
staff families, including through improved child care
facilities. She said more than half of Otago students were