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better parking arrangements for staff with children. Twenty-two of the respondents mentioned the importance of training, guidelines and awareness of family policies. Although information on Work, Life and Family Responsibilities was available on the University’s website, respondents suggested that hard copies were more easily disseminated. An outcome of the Review was to produce an information pack of resources pertaining to Work, Life and Family and the distribution of copies in faculties and service divisions. Human Rights Commission Te Kāhui Tika Tangata The Right to Breastfeed The Human Rights Commission produced an extensive paper in February 2005 which provides a background and further thinking on some of the human-rights considerations associated with breastfeeding. It covers aspects of international human rights, overseas legislation and jurisprudence, breastfeeding rights in New Zealand and principles on the right to breastfeed. The principles have been developed to help ensure that the internationally recognised right to breastfeed is given strong and meaningful effect in New Zealand. They propose that the principles be used by a range of decision making bodies to protect and extend the right to breastfeed so as to ensure that families, communities and societies can safely enjoy the benefits of breastfeeding. Copies of this document can be accessed through the Human Rights Commission website www.hrc.org.nz. Overseas Research The Athena Project The Athena Project was launched in 1999 and aims to advance the position of women in science, engineering and technology (SET) in higher education (HE) and to achieve a significant increase in the number of women recruited to top posts. The project works in partnership with UK universities, research organisations and SET professional and learned societies. Athena asks for a commitment from senior management to any Athena initiative in which they participate. Their commitment raises awareness of the issue of women’s career progression and ensures a high profile for Athena’s activities. Most of the project’s initiatives have improved practices and procedures; some have begun to change the culture of SET and HE.2 In 2007, the Athena Project will publish its findings on women returning to work after career breaks, the majority having been on maternity leave. The research will focus on the particular problems of women returning to work in the sciences, where career breaks are very problematic when the speed of developments in their fields is so fast. Preliminary findings reported by Caroline Fox indicate that: The availability of good childcare is the priority for women in achieving a successful transition back to work after maternity leave. Next most important is flexible working, while for the relatively few men in the survey who took a career break, keeping in touch while they were away was their number one concern. 3

2 3

http://www.athenaproject.org.uk/aboutAthena.htm Harriet Swain, ‘Helping the mummies return’, The Times Higher Education Supplement, 2007 pp 18-19.

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Profile for Tertiary Education Union

Women Returning to Work  

a joint project by the University of Auckland and the Association of University Staff analysing women’s experiences returning to work after...

Women Returning to Work  

a joint project by the University of Auckland and the Association of University Staff analysing women’s experiences returning to work after...

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