UTS partners with Franklin Women to boost gender equity
Franklin Women is a social enterprise founded and run by volunteer women across the health and medical research sector, with the aim of supporting others in their career journey.
This year UTS has joined the Franklin Women Academic Partners Program which brings together three faculties – health, science and engineering – to demonstrate that health research fits into diverse disciplines and there is value in connecting researchers across all three. This initiative helps support the UTS commitment to progress gender equity.
The initiative is designed to support and promote female health and medical researchers aspiring to leadership roles, and offers a great opportunity for researchers to strengthen capabilities and become leaders in their fields.
UTS previously participated in the pilot year of the Franklin Women Mentoring program which took place in 2017. This outstanding leadership mentoring program for women in health and medical research was recognised as a great fit for our existing UTS Research Equity Initiatives around leadership development for women researchers. The program benefitted both the mentees, including Dr Jane Frawley and Dr Nikki Percival from the Faculty of Health, and mentors, by developing their thinking and approach to personal leadership.
After the success of the pilot mentoring program, a team of advocates from the Faculties of Health, Science, and Engineering and IT including Prof Alaina Ammit (Science), and Prof Rob Duffield (Health), Prof Michael Blumenstein (Engineering and IT), Prof Deborah Marsh (Science) and Prof Liz Sullivan (past Assistant Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research) and Dr Arti Agrawal (Engineering and IT) championed UTS' ongoing participation in the program.
Each of the three participating faculties selected one mentee and one mentor to participate in the 2019 program. The Franklin Women Academic Partnership will be used as a platform to nurture female researchers in their field. Bethany Wootton, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology from the UTS Graduate School of Health has been chosen as the mentee for this year’s program and Professor David Sibbritt, Acting Director of the Australian Centre for Public and Population Health Research has been chosen as the mentor.
“In academia, fewer women hold senior academic positions than men. Over recent years UTS has already made great gains in rectifying this situation and programs such as the Franklin Women will help the institution reach its goal of gender parity,” said Professor Sibbritt.
This program allows UTS academics the opportunity to work with Franklin Women and other universities and medical research institutes in NSW in an attempt to increase opportunities for women in the sector. It is driven by gender equity and a passion to overcome the specific barriers women face working in health and medical research.