Welcome to HERS-SA

HERS-SA is a self-sustaining non-profit organisation(NPO), which was registered in September 2003 by the Department of Social Development.

HERS-SA is dedicated to the advancement and leadership development of women in the Higher Education sector. As a registered NPO HERS-SA has advocated for, and contributed to, the career and leadership development of women employed in the higher education sector via carefully crafted programmes. 

We also work in partnership with Higher Education Institutions to support their gender equity agenda through their nomination of women to attend HERS-SA programmes; posting vacancies on the HERS-SA website and by showcasing the achievements of women in their respective insitutions as sponsors of this site's Vacancy and Movers & Shakers Pages.

Our current activities include:

  • Hosting the annual HERS-SA ACADEMY in September, which is a week-long interactive professional development opportunity for women    employed in higher education both in South Africa and internationally.   This programme is aimed at those women in, or aspiring to hold, senior leadership positions and typically attracts on average 80 women.
  • The annual HERS-SA mini-ACADEMY which is a three-day programme offered exclusively to HERS alumnae who have participated in a residential HERS programme based either in South Africa and/or in the USA.
  • Maintaining a flow of information between women in higher education via our newsletters, website and other social media platforms.
  • Circulating information about development opportunities, advocacy, gender research and jobs in higher education via the Vacancy page on the HERS-SA website.
  • Facilitating networking between women in higher education institutions.
  • Seeking research collaborations into, and advocacy for, gender equity in higher education.  In 2013 we have commissioned research on the conflict and cohesion experiences of women working in higher education.  This research topic also constitutes the area of focus of the 2013 mini-ACADEMY.
  • Seeking funding opportunities to increase the participation in our programmes of women in higher education institutions that have limited access to funding to support their career development needs.

Women who have attended our programmes over the years have represented higher education institutions based in South Africa, Africa and other international countries. HERS-SA Alumnae comprise of over 1 000 women, whom we endeavour to keep in touch with on an ongoing basis through our mini-ACADEMY, newsletters and other announcements. Many of our alumnae occupy senior leadership positions in higher education and other sectors such as national government departments and research agencies.

HERS-SA is an independent Chapter of HERS Mid-America. Ongoing contact and co-operation has grown in both directions, with women visiting the USA and vice versa. Inspired by the American HERS programme and with the initial support of the Andrew W Mellon Foundation, HERS-SA first began offering professional development programmes for academic and administrative women in South Africa in 2000. HERS-SA is now fully self-sustaining. Over 1 000 women from South Africa and other countries across Africa, and the USA have participated in HERS-SA programmes.

HERS-SA is honoured to have, as one of its alumna, the support of Ms Naledi Pandor, the Minister of Home Affairs.