Lecturer / Researcher
Phone: +64 9 921 9999 xtn 6871
Betty Ofe-Grant is a New Zealand-born Samoan of mixed descent from Otara, South Auckland. Prior to becoming an academic and researcher, Betty worked extensively in the NZ private and public sectors with a focus on Pacific issues and Human Resources. Her research about the ‘brown glass ceiling’ for Samoans led to national and international exposure from the Samoa media, New Zealand Television, RadioNZ, Radio 531 PI, and BBC radio concerning the career barriers and facilitators that deny access or, assist with the ascension to boardroom and executive positions for Pacific people.
Her research findings indicated that Samoans juggle two separate cultures and values side-by-side, that is, Samoan and Palagi (Western-NZ). These values are diametrically opposed to one’s belief system and identity and may lead to misinterpreted social-interactions in team meetings, interviews, performance appraisals, and dialogues. More specifically, the Samoan concepts of fa’a aloalo (respect) and tautua (service) are most often misconstrued across cultures.
Other barriers included racial discrimination, tokenism, labour market segmentation and bias from other Samoans. As such, Betty is a consultant to several projects including film, radio, and research concerning Pacific careers, employment, labour migration, management, literacy and numeracy, and discrimination.
Betty is the first Samoan to graduate from the University of Auckland Business School with a Phd in Management.