Page 7

Recommendation 6. That a copy of the EEO policy on Flexible Work Arrangements be provided to all staff applying for Parental Leave and that support for managers to respond positively and creatively to requests for flexible work arrangements be provided. 7. It is of concern that women typically responded to the question about career advancement with comments to the effect that they could not contemplate career progression at that time. While this is understandable, the longer term impact, especially if women take subsequent leave periods, can seriously impede career development. Ensuring that the specifications of grants and awards such as those for doctoral completion, as well as employment processes, do not indirectly disadvantage women who have taken time out for parental leave, or worked part-time, deserves consideration. It appears that grants, awards and, especially, post-doctoral fellowships in Australian universities are commonly tailored to cater for women who have taken leave, or are tagged for women returning to work (see page 21). It is noticeable, too, that specific funding for women returning to work in the areas of engineering, science and technology is provided for a wide range of purposes in Australian universities (see page 21). Comments by participants indicated that, even when there were provisions relating to grants for taking for taking parental leave into account, they were unaware they existed. Recommendations 7. a That grants and awards provided by and/or administered by The University of Auckland be audited to ensure their provisions do not directly or indirectly disadvantage women who have taken parental leave. 7. b

That consideration be given to providing research-assistance funding, either through an internal grant or through seeking external funding to support women returning to work in disciplines where they are under-represented.

7. c

That an information sheet on research funding, scholarships and awards for women be produced. It would include information on funding which takes periods of parental leave into account and funding which is tagged for women.

8. Information gathered from the focus groups and questionnaires indicated that there was some interest, especially from general-staff women, in part-time and/or temporary employment while on parental leave. The proposition may be more attractive to women who are on extended unpaid leave than to those who were on University or Government paid leave, although this was not tested in the project. Recommendation 8. That a database of staff on parental leave who are interested in part-time and temporary work be collated and, when these vacancies arise, the staff on this database be automatically notified by email. 9. The health and well-being of pregnant women and women returning to work must be of uppermost concern. Physical exhaustion was frequently mentioned as a barrier to morale and performance. Participants in a focus group agreed that a ‘reclining armchair’ would be an ideal piece of furniture to have on loan. This may be a very practical alternative when designated ‘rest rooms’ are not available.

-7-

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...

Profile for nzteu
Advertisement