Our progress and goals
We continue to build on the work of previous committees and leaders, to ensure Monash BDI is an inclusive and supportive place to work and study.
Progress amidst COVID-19
We recognise that in this climate of great uncertainty due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, we have the important task of both developing a focussed plan for the future, while preserving the progress we have made to date.
Monash’s Athena SWAN committee has presented a position paper, “Advancing staff equity in STEMM in the face of COVID-19” which assesses likely equity impacts on University staff across a range of areas including:
- Employment security
- Unconscious bias in decision-making
- Risk of further widening the gender gap in STEMM disciplines
- Flexible working
- Increased caring responsibilities for parents and carers
- Long lasting impacts of flexible work practices
- Reduced and uneven participation in career building opportunities
- Impact on student evaluation and SETU scores
As part of an impact study on COVID-19, all staff have been invited to complete a survey that will help the Monash University Athena SWAN committee identify the emerging impacts of the pandemic on Monash staff. It will be periodically administered over the next two years. Findings will help shape the actions we take to support equity and inclusion as the University recovers from the impacts of COVID-19. The first iteration of this survey collected data in August 2020.
Did you know? Monash University has a suite of initiatives to support staff and students impacted by COVID-19. Find the latest information regarding these initiatives here.
Our staff are encouraged to pursue professional development in areas related to inclusion, including Equal Opportunity online training, which is mandatory for all staff, and Ally Network training which is open to all staff. These are available to access through the MyDevelopment portal.
In 2016, the Monash BDI Equity committee recommended an inclusivity training program tailored to BDI leadership. This training was completed by 59 group leaders within Monash BDI. Recognising the importance of equal opportunity in selection processes, training is also provided to selection panels, where the Chair and at least one other member must have undertaken training in selection procedures.
The inaugural BDI Outstanding Women in Science Fellowship was awarded to Dr Karla Hutt in 2016.
“The fellowship enabled me to build my research team, form new collaborations, develop new projects, and establish myself as a leader in the field of reproductive biology. The financial support and mentoring provided by the fellowship directly lead to me being awarded an ARC Future Fellowship and an ARC Discovery Grant in 2019.”
In 2018, Monash University was the proud recipient of an inaugural Athena SWAN Bronze award. This award recognizes and builds upon the decades of work undertaken by staff and students at Monash University to progress Gender Equity. What is this?
Monash BDI supports and encourages staff to take the Gender Equity Panel Pledge. This initiative seeks to promote diversity and challenge ongoing gender disparity in public fora, including conferences, panels and other events. Find out more
As part of the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences strategic plan for Diversity and Inclusion (2016-2020), Monash BDI was challenged to increase the gender balance for senior academic staff to 42% women at level D (Associate Professor). This goal was achieved. The proportion of female research-only academics at Level D increased from 33% in 2015 to 49% in 2019, and the proportion of teaching and research academics at level D was reached 58% in 2019.
We now seek to maintain balance at this level, and to address the ongoing challenge of gender balance at Level E and in senior leadership roles.
Research at Monash BDI is grouped into 6 Discovery Programs, and we are proud that women lead/co-lead 3 of these themes.
Since 2017, Monash BDI has held an End of Year awards program to recognise and showcase a few of the many achievements made by our amazing people. One of the categories specifically seeks to identify a team or individual who has made an outstanding impact on fostering a supportive environment through initiatives that address diversity and inclusion; development of our people; or training the next generation.
The inaugural award was made in 2017, as an award for diversity and inclusion, to Professor Moira O’Bryan (Former Head, School of Biological Sciences; Former Head, Development and Stem Cells Program and Deputy Director, Monash BDI). Recognising her outstanding contribution as chair of the FBPS Gender Equity Committee in driving key initiatives, including establishing the Outstanding Women in Science Fellowship, and implementing training in leadership skills, assertiveness and inclusive leadership.
Renamed the Award for Fostering a Supportive Environment, subsequent recipients were:
2018 - Monash BDI ECR Committee
For the outstanding range of initiatives rolled-out to support and maximise the success of our BDI Early Career Researchers.
2019 - Professor Dena Lyras and Dr Davina Dadley-Moore (joint winners).
Prof Dena Lyras received this award for her leadership on gender equity policy in the BDI, and mentorship of EMCRs. Dr Davina Dadley Moore received this award for Excellence in Research Support - Training and development.
2020 - Associate Professor Priscilla Johanesen and Associate Profesor Michelle Lazarus (joint winners)
Associate Professor Priscilla Johanesen: for stepping into the Graduate Research Coordinator role at the Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology and her support of graduate students during 2020. Associate Professor Michelle Lazarus: for the development of a new leadership structure in Anatomy & Developmental Biology Education.
Monash BDI Diversity and Inclusion committee is pursuing the following ongoing goals:
- To embed awareness of diversity and equity in our culture, policy and practices
- To more effectively link into Faculty and University equity committees
- To retain the gender equity fellowship introduced in 2016
- To promote diversity in grant application and industry-related teams
- To continue to tackle unconscious bias through training and auditing.
- To offer career advancement pathways including professional development (courses, mentoring) and leadership (research) opportunities
- To actively promote gender equity to improve career pathways for women
- To identify and address the needs of our people with diverse genders and sexualities, and from diverse cultural, linguistic and socioeconomic backgrounds
- To continue to develop ways to engage with and support those with a disability
- To continue to develop ways to engage with Indigenous Australians.