As the convenor of CEOs Roundtables since I started with CEOs for Gender Equity in early 2016, our conversations led by our members have facilitated many learnings.
In closing the conversations, CEOs and leaders make commitments to take back to their workplaces to make a difference in Western Australia.
I've often referred to these learnings as the 'penny-drop' or 'a-ha' moments that we have when we gain insights and experiences of others, that are incidental to gender equity systems, policies or processes that drive workplace compliance.
Whilst I am always learning, this week I was also grateful for my own “a-ha”, “penny-drop moment”. In fact I had more than one …
That is, in leading CEOs for Gender Equity I am also advocating for change. I, too am a leader. And it is a huge privilege, to be a leader in advocating for women in the workplace.
Until now I have mostly been an observer, noting the powerful CEO-led initiatives that leaders are taking back to their workplaces.
I'd like to share some insights and learnings that most resonated with me. These are three commitments that I am bringing back to my work for CEOs for Gender Equity:
Thanks to University of Western Australia, Vice Chancellor, Professor Dawn Freshwater for hosting our final CEOs Roundtable for 2017 that was co-facilitated with Nigel Hearne, Managing Director, Chevron Australia.
A workplace representative of the community is a workplace that can connect with its community; that is why as the Vice-Chancellor of The University of Western Australia I am a proud member of CEOs for Gender Equity. I am committed to ensuring that UWA is a leader in providing opportunities for women to advance and thrive in their professional and academic careers. The University has recently been selected to participate in the Athena SWAN Charter pilot project being implemented by The Australian Academy of Science to improve gender equity in Australian organisations which cover the disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine. The international initiative highlights the importance of changing career outcomes for women in these fields and UWA is championing this cause. As a member of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Women in Science Committee, I am proud of our work which significantly enhances career pathways in research for women. At UWA we also actively promote career opportunities to the next generation of female leaders through our schools engagement strategy. At UWA we are committed to cultural change to ensure gender equity and I am pleased we are leading by example.
Professor Dawn Freshwater, Vice Chancellor, the University of Western Australia