Slow progress for women professors

Posted By TEU on Oct 29, 2009 |

Tertiary Update Volume 12 Number 37

The proportion of professors and associate professors who are women grew from 17 percent in 2003 to 21 percent in 2008 according to the Ministry of Education’s just released Profiles and Trends Report 2008.”  Overall the proportion of female academic staff in tertiary institutions has fallen slightly from 46 percent to 45 percent, with a slight increase in wānanga and universities and slight decrease in polytechnics.

TEU national secretary Sharn Riggs said universities need to do more to help women into professorial roles.

“The overall number of academics in universities grew during the same period so it is strange that the proportion of women academics should be stagnant and the proportion of professors should be growing so slowly.”

Meanwhile, the report also shows that the personnel costs per full time equivalent staff member have fallen against the rate of inflation between 2007 and 2008.”  While universities and wānanga increased their personnel spending by an average of at least $5000 per staff member, polytechnics increased their spending over the same year by only $1000, meaning that spending failed to keep up with inflation.”  In total, 58 percent, or $2.21 billion, of total public tertiary education expenditure was spent on personnel in 2008 (up one percent from 2007).

Ms Riggs said these statistics made grim reading for polytechnic staff.

“The State Services Commission and individual polytechnics and institutes of technology seem set on repressing wages this year. For a group of workers whose pay appears not to have kept up with others in the tertiary education system that’s not only unfair, it is going to hurt those workers and their families.”

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. Site-by-site bargaining underway at universities
  2. Polytechnics not that impoverished
  3. How do you start a custom from scratch?
  4. Social report reveals fewer students
  5. Monash staff to get back lost leave pay
  6. Fundraising up to university leaders

TEU Tertiary Update is published weekly on Thursdays and distributed freely to members of the Tertiary Education Union and others. You can subscribe to Tertiary Update by email or feed reader. Back issues are available on the TEU website. Direct inquiries should be made to Stephen Day, email:

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