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Staff Women’s Caucus rebrands

Tuesday, 28 March 2017 1:57pm

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Staff Women's Caucus presidents Dr Elaine Webster (left) and Amanda Phillips (right) with Life Member Emeritus Professor Jocelyn Harris at the rebranding launch earlier this month.

The University of Otago’s Staff Women’s Caucus (SWC) has rebranded and become easier to join.

Timed to coincide with International Women’s Day earlier this month, the rebranding aims to underscore the purpose of the SWC, which is to provide support and networking opportunities for women at Otago.

Co-president Dr Elaine Webster, the Director of Summer School and Continuing Education, says Otago has certainly improved in terms of gender equity in recent years, especially in senior academic appointments, but stresses the University is “not there yet”.

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Staff Women's Caucus Life Member Emeritus Professor Jocelyn Harris with one of the newly rebranded badges.

“Equity reporting is a major advance which allows us to track successes and focus on areas of concern, and also to benchmark with other universities in New Zealand and elsewhere. Our message to members is to keep meeting and talking, as that is one of the most powerful things we can do to support change. People who share, support each other, and work together for change are strong.”

Along with the re-branding, the SWC is now free and has become easier to join – just sign up to the email list: staffwomenscaucus@otago.ac.nz.

Co-president Amanda Phillips, of the Department of Women's and Children's Health, says members will receive invitations to special events and information that is likely to be of interest.

“Events are a great way to get to know people and connect across the campus.”

At the re-branding launch, held at the Green Acorn Café, the SWC gifted a new badge to Life Member Emeritus Professor Jocelyn Harris. Other Life Members include Penny Love, Jean Fleming, Dot Page, Claire Matthewson, Helen Leach and Sarah Todd.

Emeritus Professor Harris says she was “delighted and touched” to be the first life member to receive the new badge.

“It's grand to see that SWC still flourishes.”

About the Staff Women’s Caucus

  • The SWC began meeting informally in 1983, and launched formally in 1987, as a place for female general and academic staff to work together to improve communication and working conditions for women.
  • A strength of the organisation is that it always has two co-presidents, one from the General staff and one from Academic. Mrs Wilma Railton was the first General co-president, and Jocelyn Harris the first Academic one.
  • Among its achievements the SWC has improved many conditions for women including childcare, mentoring and promotion.
  • It also provides collegiality for women from across the University, support to young staff, and the sharing of experience.
  • In 2012 it launched a Wellington branch.

Want to join?

Sign up via email: staffwomenscaucus@otago.ac.nz