Lifting, Learning, Leading

Featured Article

The Academy must bridge the gender divide


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Greetings HERS-SA Alumnae, Members and Friends

With the end of 2014 nearly in sight, a reflection back on this year points to many activities at higher education institutions and HERS-SA which were dedicated to advocate for the advancement of women working in higher education. These activities received heightened focus to dovetail with celebrations marking 20 years of democracy in South Africa.

On the 31st July, the HERS-SA Board convened for its Annual General Meeting at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. The Board voted that Karen Esler, a Stellenbosch University (SU) Professor specialising in conservation ecology, and Ms Firoza Patel, Director: Human Resources Development at UNISA, be elected as the Chair and Vice-Chair respectively of the HERS-SA Board for a two year term beginning July 2014. This is Esler’s second term as Chair of the Board, with Patel being the first Vice-Chair.

For more on their HERS-SA mandates and respective professional profiles visit this link. The HERS-SA Director will work closely with the Chair and Vice-Chair to implement innovative measures to ensure HERS-SA’s sustainability and to reinforce HERS-SA’s position as an important vehicle to contribute to gender transformation in higher education institutions.

The HERS East Africa (EA) branch held its inaugural meeting on the 5th August 2014 at Makerere University in Uganda. During a two day conference with participants representing numerous universities in East African countries, Dr. Raymonda Burgman, Director HERS Institutes USA, challenged HERS-EA to go beyond the equilibrium. HERS-SA looks forward to collaborating with our sisters north of our border to ensure that the HERS reach extends across the African continent. To read more on the HERS-EA inaugural meeting, click here.


If you missed it, please read the Featured Article in this Newsletter. It is an incisive opinion piece penned by Professor Jonathan Jansen for HERS-SA to commemorate Women’s month this year. Other opinion pieces on gender equity in higher education which also appeared in the media include “Eradicating Poor Race & Gender Habits in Universities”, and “Mind the Gap: The place of women in higher education”; “Universities remain a Bastion for Gender Discrimination”.

The 2014 HERS-SA mini-ACADEMY and the ACADEMY were hosted in July and September respectively. The positive feedback received from alumnae who attended these events reinforce the value and relevance HERS-SA programmes continue to have for women working in Higher Education to cater to their unique professional and leadership development needs. We thank all our stakeholders for their dedicated commitment to sponsor and support women to attend HERS-SA academies. With many strides having been made in South Africa since the demise of apartheid, gender transformation of the economy in all economic sectors continues to lag behind and must therefore continue to remain at the top of the transformation agenda of all organisations. In this vein, HERS-SA looks forward to working strategically with our stakeholders to advance gender equity in the higher education sector.


Movers & Shakers: Women Shaping Higher Education
Congratulations to all our alumnae for their achievements in their careers this year. They are featured on the HERS-SA Wall of Fame. Our sponsors have also featured on this Wall other outstanding women in their institutions who are Movers and Shakers. Well done to all these women who continue to inspire us. Hit the Facebook Like button if you like this page or spot someone you know on the Wall of Fame. We need your help to feature outstanding women Movers and Shakers in the higher education sector. Please keep in touch to let us know if you or other HERS alumnae have been promoted or achieved other milestones. Help us build the HERS-SA Wall of Fame and watch the Wall grow.


Don’t forget to visit the Vacancies page on our website for available job opportunities at our sponsoring institutions. As a HERS-SA alumna if you apply for a position and mention the HERS-SA website, should you be shortlisted we will offer you one complimentary coaching session to help you prepare for your interview. So visit the Vacancy page regularly to spot your next dream job.


With this being our last newsletter for this year, we wish you all the best in what’s left of 2014. May 2015 brim with much success and prosperity! Go well till next time,

The HERS-SA team

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