Harris, C. A., & Leberman, S. I.
Advances in Developing Human resources, 14 (28)
Research Analysis
Area of focus: 
New Zealand

This academic research paper from a human resources journal presents an evaluation study of the New Zealand Women in Leadership programme (NZWIL). Women comprise the majority of both students and staff at universities, however despite ongoing difficulties in attracting and retaining talent, women are still underrepresented in senior academic and staff positions. NZWIL is a national-level leadership development programme intended to address this issue, which has received the endorsement of eight universities nationwide.

The authors provide an introduction to the concept of leadership development and its argued benefits, which include increased self-confidence and building networks. A background is provided to NZWIL, as well as an outline of its programme. A longitudinal study of NZWIL participants finds that 80 percent of alumni report increased self-confidence. Other benefits have included the formation of women's networks throughout New Zealand universities, a perception of increased commitment to leadership, and alumni being actively sought for leadership roles. Over half of faculty staff who participated had applied for and received promotions in the year following completion of NZWIL. The authors conclude with an analysis of the guiding principles which have contributed to NZWIL's success.