Breaking the bias this International Women's Day

The staff and students of Monash Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences have come together for their annual International Women’s Day (IWD) campaign.

In the week leading up to IWD, staff and students from across the Faculty shared photos and pledges on social media to support this year’s campaign theme, #BreakTheBias. The posts shared an array of positive and practical ways in which we can break the bias in our day-to-day lives to help create a world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination.

Following the social media campaign, an IWD luncheon will be held for Faculty staff on Tuesday 5 April featuring three incredible Monash researchers. Dr Jessica Borger, Dr Kirsten Palmer and Professor Libby Callaway will share their learnings and experiences around the gendered impacts of COVID-19 in healthcare.

Staff and students pledge to #BreakTheBias

Professor Christina Mitchell smiling in the IWD 2022 pose

"I am dedicated to ensuring we continue to #breakthebias to achieve gender equality in our faculty, and in medical research. I encourage all staff and students to call out bias and discrimination.

In recent times, we have extended financial support to female staff to complete the Springboard leadership program, we contributed to the Vice Chancellor's Equal Opportunity for Women Committee, and we have assisted with the development of Monash's Gender Equity Strategy and the Gender Equity Toolkit.  I look forward to another year of breaking the bias and lifting the voices and work of women in medicine, nursing and health sciences."

Professor Christina Mitchell, Dean of Monash Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Michelle Leech is smiling in the IWD 2022 pose

"I am helping to break the bias in my role as a specialist and leader in maternal fetal medicine where I directly work to advance health outcomes for pregnant women and their babies. As a clinician researcher, I lead research programs that seek to improve health outcomes for women and babies globally and population groups that are often overlooked, particularly in clinical trials. I combine both these passions with my most important role, being a mum, hopefully helping to break down the stereotype that women cannot 'do it all'."

Dr Kirsten Palmer, Senior Research Fellow, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health

 Libby is smiling crossing her arms to form an x shape, which is this year's International Women's Day campaign pose.

"I will work to #BreakTheBias experienced by women, girls, feminine-identifying and non-binary people with disabilities, using authentic co-design and co-production of evidence that informs disability policy and practice."

Libby Callaway, Associate Professor, Rehabilitation, Ageing and Independent Living (RAIL) Research Centre, School of Primary and Allied Health Care

Tanya is smiling crossing her arms to form an x shape, which is this year's International Women's Day campaign pose.

"Being a black, African woman in a career field and space (public health) not often pioneered by people who look like me, I am determined to #BreakTheBias by working everyday to be better than I was the previous day, excel as a public health professional and create spaces for those who have felt they didn’t fit in or couldn’t do it because of how society categorised them. A world free from bias and discrimination might not happen in my life time but I know taking whatever steps I can today can breed breakthrough in generations to come!"

Tanyaradzwa, second-year master of public health student

r Zainab Alqudah is standing against a leafy green tree and smiling. She is crossing her arms to form an x shape, which is this year's International Women's Day campaign pose.

"I truly believe that I’m breaking the bias every day by never doubting my value and power, by not chasing validation or approval from others, by pursuing and achieving my dreams, and by paving the way for other women in my field."

Dr. Zainab Alqudah, paramedicine PHD Candidate

Michelle Leech is s standing against leafy green trees and smiling. She is crossing her arms to form an x shape, which is this year's International Women's Day campaign pose

"#breakingthebias in medicine has never been more important. Diverse doctors are good doctors and safe doctors."

Professor Michelle Leech, Deputy Dean Monash, Medicine Nursing And Health Sciences

Eric is smiling and crossing his arms to form an x shape, which is this year's International Women's Day campaign pose.

"To break the bias, I’ll work to learn from others, set an example, and impact on structures, to address and eliminate discrimination that is based on stereotypes."

Professor Eric Morand, Head of the School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health

Debra Griffiths is smiling. She is crossing her arms to form an x shape, which is this year's International Women's Day campaign pose.

"In my legal and nursing careers I have witnessed and experienced bias, and on International Women’s Day 2022 where the theme is #BreakTheBias, I remain committed to ensuring that all bias, both conscious and unconscious is identified and addressed and no longer constrains any woman."

Professor Debra Griffiths, Head of Monash Nursing and Midwifery

To see more of our #BreakTheBias participants, visit our Faculty Facebook and Instagram accounts.