A transformational year for women in science

As the year draws to a close and we reflect on the changes we have seen in the last 12 months – you could say it has been a ‘transformational year’ for women in science! New groups at all levels – local, state and national – have gained momentum and strengthened ties. Women in science have again found a collective voice and engaged with men and women in leadership roles to express their needs, their goals and their dreams!

We cheer and applaud the following success stories in 2014:

  • The Women in Science Parkville Precinct initiative has taken flight, receiving a $100,000 grant to support its local activities and policy development across five of Australia’s leading Medical Research Institutes;
  • The Victorian State Government under the leadership of Victoria’s Lead Scientist Dr Leonie Walsh has launched its Inspiring Women program with veski. Multiple fellowships are now available and several workshops are planned for 2015;
  • Franklin Women has launched and quickly gathering members in the health and medical research discipline with a suite of workshops underway;
  • The Astronomical Society of Australia Women in Astronomy group announced their inaugural winners of the Pleiades Awards;
  • The Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) Forum hosted a ground-breaking, history-making SAGE Forum Workshop to discuss a national bench-marking initiative for all universities and research institutes in Australia. Congratulations to all members of the SAGE Forum for this tremendously successful workshop!!
  • The National Health and Medical Research Council has introduced new requirements for gender equity policies for administering institutions.

For Women in Science AUSTRALIA in particular, we are excited to welcome on board two new academic partners – University of Technology Sydney (Platinum) and Deakin University (Silver). We look forward to working with our partners to engage more broadly with the sector in 2015. Our terms of reference have been finalised and we will be actively seeking Board Members first up in the New Year – so stay tuned! We will advocate for women in science at multiple levels through policy development and engagement with key stake-holders and policy-makers; and provide opportunities for executive level professional development and cross-sector networking. We are engaging with leading organisations to create and communicate more opportunities for women in science and actively support male champions of change!

Aussie XmasOn behalf of Women in Science AUSTRALIA, thanks for your interest, enthusiasm and energy. Importantly, we thank you for your open collaborative spirit. This philosophy lies at the very heart of Women in Science AUSTRALIA. We want all women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics – across all sectors – to develop new professional skills, extend their network and succeed! Let us know what you would like to see us support and initiate in the New Year. We have a lot of great ideas, but always welcome more! We wish you all the best for the festive season and look forward to connecting again in the New Year!

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