A big year, a bigger impact: 2022 Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Annual Report

Primary caregiving. Gender representation. Inclusive leadership. Mentorship. The Faculty of IT’s latest Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) annual report details a holistic approach to creating a fairer world.

2022 saw the Faculty’s EDI Committee begin shifting towards a more intersectional agenda that recognises compounding challenges faced by people of multiple marginalised identities – a focus that will be at the heart of its imminent 2023-2025 Strategic Plan.

“In 2022 we ramped up our support and actions for staff and students, delivering tailored mental health support and mentoring programs, increasing the proportion of underrepresented groups in key areas, delving deeper into the needs of students with disabilities and improving the experiences of women in IT,” explains Associate Professor Yolande Strengers, Associate Dean (Equity, Diversity and Inclusion) and Committee Chair.

On top of key initiatives introduced to address identified issues, and ongoing efforts to delve deeper, the report also celebrates many faculty members who are championing EDI in their own way – recognised by prestigious awards such as the Australian Museum’s Eureka Prize.

EDI report 2022

Here are some key excerpts from the report:

Inclusive recruitment guidelines

In 2022, the Faculty introduced a ‘gender-balanced shortlist’ principle advocating a more diverse, inclusive culture (in line with Monash University’s Gender Equality Action Plan 2022-2025).

In 2022, women made up approximately 50% of continuing academic appointments and the number of women professors almost doubled.

2022 Australian Museum Eureka Prize

Honouring excellence in innovation and research, the 2022 Eureka Prize for STEM Inclusion was awarded to Dr Kirsten Ellis.

An inspirational woman in technology, Dr Ellis’ inclusive tech invention TapeBlocks makes STEM activities more accessible for people with physical and cognitive disabilities. As part of the 2019 National Science Week, she distributed 500+ makerkits including TapeBlocks to disability organisations in Victoria.

Evolving the Women in Technology (WIT) Mentoring program

In 2022, the  WIT program became the first at Monash to offer women-to-women mentorships exclusively. Involving 62 mentors and mentees, the initiative was also extended from six to 12 weeks – allowing for greater support and connection between students and professionals from high-profile tech companies such as KPMG, EY and NBN.

Superbots 2.0

Following the successful introduction of the Superbots Industry Immersion program in November 2021, the Faculty partnered with Monash Tech School, TalkViaOne and the Women in Voice ANZ chapter again to run a second session.

Open to girls in Years 7 to 9, Superbots 2.0 was also co-facilitated by Professor Yolande Strengers and three PhD candidates from the faculty. With more than 20 students attending, the experience exhibited the connection between human, technical and innovation studies.

Returning to work adjustments for primary caregivers

In 2021 the faculty offered additional teaching and research support for staff with pre-school and school-aged children impacted by the pandemic. This followed staff consultations and surveys which revealed that the pandemic and associated lockdowns were most acutely impacting the career opportunities and wellbeing of staff with caring responsibilities.

2022 saw these initiatives carried on while caregiving needs were reassessed more generally to identify gaps for new support resources.

The achievements of the EDI Committee continue to have lasting impacts on the progressive culture in the Faculty of IT and Monash more broadly.

With its 2023-2025 Strategy Plan on the horizon, the Committee will be furthering its intersectional focus while expanding its scope to involve Indigenous engagement initiatives under the leadership of the Associate Dean (Indigenous), Professor Christopher Lawrence.

To learn more, read the 2022 annual report now.