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wilNZ Women in Leadership Programme

NZ Women in Leadership Programme Objectives

How to Apply

Eligible staff are sent information early each year.

About the Programme

The Women in Leadership Programme (NZWIL) exists to support, encourage, and contribute to the development of women who are, or aspire to be, leaders within the tertiary sector. The goal of the programme is to increase women’s leadership capabilities and influence by enhancing their personal, professional and national-level skills and networks.

This nationwide programme, which has been running since 2007, is endorsed by Universities NZ and developed by a steering committee of experienced academic and senior women leaders. Initial seed funding to set up the programme was provided by the Kate Edgar Educational Charitable Trust, (, named in recognition of Kate Milligan Edgar (1857-1935), the first woman to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in the British Empire.

Universities NZ offers two Women in Leadership programmes per annum - one for each of two 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, administrative leadership positions. This includes those with responsibility for budget and people or significant functions, including directors or managers of student administration, facilities management, student services, communications and marketing, student recruitment, human resources, finace,international, legal, library, and faculty/school managers.

The programme is committed to encouraging diversity, so welcomes people from a wide variety of backgrounds and disciplines. The organisers are particularly keen to assist women from under-represented groups, such as women in science and engineering, or Maori and Pasifika women. Two scholarships are offered each year for Maori and Pasifika women (see NZWIL Scholarships for Maori and Pasifika Women for further information).

NZWIL involves a 5 day intensive, interactive residential programme, designed to stimulate, engage and boost the skills of women who attend. Those selected gain a great deal, and in return are expected to fully participate and work hard, including completing some pre-work.  They should also be willing to host follow-up activities at their university - the aim is to build strong networks of women within tertiary institutions so that women leaders are supported, recognised and valued.

The University of Waikato selects two nominees for each of the annual NZWIL programmes and sponsors their attendance. Factors taken into account in selecting nominees include:

  • the criteria set out in the documentation from NZWIL;
  • the applicants’ current positions in terms of responsibilities and ability;
  • opportunity and time to apply the benefits of the programme;
  • the aspirations and potential of applicants and the longer term effects to be gained from the programme; and
  • the benefits that participation would bring to the University as well as to the individual.

Final decisions regarding the selection of participants rests with the NZWIL national steering committee.

NZ Women in Leadership Programme 2017 Dates

  • The Academic Programme will be held from Monday 19 June to Friday 23 June 2017 at The Bolton Hotel, Wellington.
  • The General Programme will be held from Monday 21 August to Friday 25 August 2017 at The Bolton Hotel, Wellington.

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