Cross Institute Task Forces
In 2016, the five WiSPP institutes collaborated to develop an agreed set of gender equity metrics and collected baseline data from each institute. The data confirmed that females are underrepresented at senior levels in the Parkville Medical Research Institutes.
In 2018, WiSPP established the Cross Institute Task Force Initiative to both better understand the reasons for a lack of gender equity (GE) in medical research and identify potential ways to improve GE in medical research leadership. The Cross Institute Task Force Initiative was developed in collaboration with Graeme Russell, John Holm and Jessica Rozsnyoi from Strategic Research and Growth, who designed and facilitated the interactive workshops, synthesised the discussions of the participants and steered the project with expert organisational change knowledge.
The Task Forces brought together 30 scientists and professional staff members from different institutes, levels, scientific backgrounds and genders. Working together over six months the Task Forces took an evidence-based approach to the identification of the issues, underlying causes and potential actions. The reflections and recommendations of the Task Forces are made in response to peer-reviewed journal articles and evidence-based reports from peak bodies and councils advocating for workplace diversity and inclusion.
Key levers for equity and inclusion in medical research
Throughout the workshop process, the ideas from the Task Forces were refined and distilled to identify these four key areas considered most critical in delivering equity and inclusion outcomes.
A COORDINATED PLAN FOR CHANGE
The Task Force’s recommendations produces a clear strategy for WiSPP’s future cross institute work. A coordinated plan for change is detailed in here.
Challenging deeply held beliefs about ‘merit’, destigmatising career breaks and dismantling traditional stereotypes of the roles of women and men inside and outside of the workplace has also been identified in the Australian Academy of Science’s Women in STEM Decadal Plan as key to retaining women in STEM careers.
The work of the WiSPP member institutes and our collaborators will contribute powerfully to the shared vision of achieving transformative, systematic and sustained change in STEM.