Gender Equality

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Flexible work and generous parental leave

World-leading researchers in gender issues

Established mentoring programme for emerging women leaders

Some things we are especially proud of

In 2021 women made up 63.1% (1871 of 2963) of students starting a degree and 60.2% of the degrees we awarded (2001 of 3323).

Our relatively high qualification completion rate for female students of 68%, compared to 60% for male students. (Based on Tertiary Education Commission EPI data for 2021 for the full-time Level 7 degree level cohort.)

45% of female applicants receiving unconditional offers in 2021 compared to 28% of male applicants.

We have zero tolerance for harassment and a robust protected disclosure policy to make it easy and safe for staff and students to anonymously report issues.

Our diverse group of academics teaching and conducting research about the unique challenges facing women across the world.

Our generous parental leave policy provides six weeks paid leave in addition to that provided by the Government.

We have many generous scholarships for women, including several in STEM and to support the return to study.

All our first year students are allocated a dedicated staff member to give them advice and reassurance and help them succeed in their study goals as part of our Study Advising Programme.

Holly Thorpe

The gendered pandemic

Professor Holly Thorpe at the University is currently exploring how New Zealand women have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic in a new multi-disciplinary project. In 2021 she was awarded a two-year James Cook Research Fellowship. The research builds on two pilot projects being led by Professor Thorpe investigating how women across the sport sector have responded to the pandemic, and another project exploring how women from different cultural backgrounds are understanding, defining, and managing wellbeing.

“At the local level this research will contribute to more complex ways of thinking about women’s wellbeing and what strategies and policies are needed to recognise the gendered effects of the pandemic and how we can better support women through this and out the other side of it."

Woman holding Like a Boss cup

New Programme launched to support emerging women leaders

The University was proud to launch the Waikato Women in Leadership programme in 2021. The programme aims to help emerging women leaders across the University to develop leadership capabilities and enhance their networks. The year-long programme combines one-on-one mentoring, peer group mentoring and workshops on topics ranging from cultural leadership to communications and career planning.

Female track running race

Spotlight on health of female athletes

Waikato researchers have been investigating chronic energy deficiency amongst elite female athletes for many years, joining forces to lend their expertise to High Performance Sport New Zealand through an initiative called WHISPA. WHISPA brings together a multi-disciplinary team of experts to support women in sport to protect their health and wellbeing while striving for high performance. They tackle issues ranging from energy deficiency to menstrual irregularity, ACL injuries and pregnancy.

Related news

Exploring and embracing diversity

Research at the University of Waikato is helping to underpin policy development and decisions designed to improve diversity and inclusion and create more gender-responsive practices across New Zealand organisations.