Ministry of Education human resources data shows that the number of women working in tertiary education is growing, and that women employees are likely to be younger than men and more likely to be in part-time work.
“What this data shows,” says TEU women’s vice president Cat Pausé, “is that women, and especially younger women, are playing an increasingly important role in the public tertiary education workforce. The ministry counts 36,000 people working in public tertiary education and over 20,000 of them are women.”
“We need to make sure we are meeting the employment needs of these women. We need to look far more seriously at issues of pay and employment equity, parental leave, career pathways and job security, especially for part-time and casual workers.”
Since 1999 the number of women have grown from 44 percent of the total academic workforce in public tertiary institutions to 50 percent.
Cat Pausé says individual institutions need plans to meet the working needs of diverse groups of women, with different ethnicities, economic wealth, sexualities and cultural backgrounds.
“Women comprise the majority of workers on campuses now because we are so diverse.”
Women employed in all jobs in public tertiary education institutions are much more likely to be in part-time work than their male peers. Two out of every five women are in part-time work.
Women employees are also younger on average than men. There are nearly 4000 more women under the age of fifty working in public tertiary institutions than there are men under fifty.
TEU is working to set up a young women’s network. Anyone interested in joining should contact TEU women’s officer Suzanne McNabb.