By forming a collective of five eminent Medical Research Institutes, WiSPP has established a unique engine with which to promote and measure change in gender equity in science.

We are committed to a shared agenda, have agreed on shared measurements, undertaken a range of mutually reinforcing activities and established a strong relationship of trust with the support of directors and engagement of staff from all institutes. With funding from the federal government under the Women in STEM and Entrepreneurship programme, WiSPP is committed to working together towards both cultural change within the institutes and towards systemic change beyond our institutes.

Metrics Project

WiSPP works using a collective impact framework.  A key feature of collective impact is to develop agreed metrics that measure progress. This critical first stage in the development of our change initiative is to understand the current state and what the future desired state looks like.  Base-line (within an organisation) and benchmark (comparisons with other organisations) data are both necessary in order to design change initiatives and to measure progress.

This involves:

  1. defining the critical lag and lead indicators

  2. establishing reliable and valid measures; and

  3. collecting data on these measures to establish a base-line, with which to measure progress. 

In 2016 WiSPP collaborated with the five institutes to develop an agreed set of metrics and have now collected baseline data from each institute.  The metrics include lag indicators, which enable organisations to understand their current state, and lead indicators that measure prerequisites to change thereby enabling organisations to be pro-active about managing gender equality outcomes. The chosen metrics align closely with both the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA)and Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) frameworks but have been adapted to the specific context of Medical Research Institutes.

Cultural Change Programs

Leveraging the data from the Metrics Project we are working together with the institutes and two consulting organisations, the Centre of Ethical Leadership and Strategic Research and Growth, to develop and pilot two innovative culture change programs across the five WiSPP institutes.

A key focus for interventions is to increase the representation and utilisation of women in the leadership teams and work cultures of Medical Research Institutes.