Candice Harris believes academic careers often track on two paths: star scientists who do excellent work within clearly defined fields, and ambidextrous professionals who contribute across a broad range of academic portfolios. She considers herself for most of her career to have been on the latter path. She has been strongly engaged in teaching and learning, research and administration, across the fields of management and human resource management.
Currently she holds a position as Professor and Head of Department of Management in the Faculty of Business and Law at the Auckland University of Technology.
Studying business seemed a logical fit for Candice. Her parents owned a pharmacy and she had been immersed in the world of enterprise from a young age. Thinking she would be interested in law, Candice commenced a business degree. However, after just one law paper she realised it wasn’t for her and decided to focus on the human side of business, being human resource management and marketing. After completing her undergraduate degree, she went on do to Honours and then Masters in Management, and completed a PhD in Tourism Management where she explored professional women’s mobility as enacted through business travel.
Her first role was in policy development in the New Zealand Defence Force. Following that, she took a lecturing job at Wellington Polytechnic which later merged with Massey University, where she remained for a few years before she joined the Auckland University of Technology.
Achieving balance as a solo parent has been a key challenge for Candice. She prioritises family, and doesn’t work weekends. She also cared for her terminally ill mother while her daughter was only young, while also maintaining a career. To balance this, she has learned to work strategically and with increased productivity.
Candice enjoys leadership roles. Performing across a range of academic portfolios has presented her with experiences that have made her more resilient. After 20 years, she still enjoys the work she does and is excited about her career ahead. She is passionate about encouraging women into leadership roles. She is also interested in learning more about why some academics are hesitant to pursue leadership roles.
Candice offers the unique perspective of having developed and delivered a range of leadership development programs. Her work has been applied in the higher education sector as well as other sectors, such as banking. As a mentor, she adopts a coaching approach, with a focus on asking the right questions to work towards solutions. When invited, she is also comfortable sharing her ideas and experience with mentees.