It was lovely to join Elaine, Tricia and a full venue at the International Women’s Day celebration on Friday. We heard from some impressive women including Julie Cogin, PVC, College of Business & Law, who busted some myths about things that prevent women taking on senior leadership roles (guess what – we don’t lack ambition, confidence or education, but we do opt out, get paid less and don’t have the networks men do), Charlotte Conn, Senior Research Fellow, School of Science, who spoke about the importance of great mentors, and RMIT alumni, Sarah Goss, who burst through the glass ceiling in style when she became the first non-Anglo, single parent, part-time gig worker under 40 on the leadership team of Ericsson. Jason Ngam, RMIT Senior Governance Officer finished off the session, talking about his own commitment to inclusion and diversity.
Our VC Martin Bean spoke about some of the important achievements we have made in gender equity at RMIT. Across the globe however we have some considerable way to go. The UN Gender Social Norms Index Report, published last week noted some sobering stats:
- Globally, almost 50% of men said they had more right to a job than women.
- Almost a third of respondents thought it was acceptable for men to hit their partners.
- There are no countries in the world with gender equality.
Pedro Conceição, head of UNDP’s Human Development Report Office said: “We have come a long way in recent decades to ensure that women have the same access to life’s basic needs as men. But gender gaps are still all too obvious in other areas, particularly those that challenge power relations and are most influential in actually achieving true equality. Today the fight about gender equality is a story of bias and prejudices.”
The work we do in supporting education remains as important as ever.