GRIFFITH University has been named Employer of Choice for 2016 at the annual Women in Technology awards, building on its reputation as a leader in gender equality.

The Women in Technology (WiT) awards, which celebrate the achievements of women in the traditionally male-dominated fields of technology and life science, have also named Griffith academics Professor Michelle Burford and Dr Cara Beal among category winners.

Griffith University was among three finalists, including national gaming company Tatts Group and management consultancy firm ASPL, vying for Employer of Choice.

The University, which counts women among almost half of its senior management staff, has been consistently recognised in the field of gender equality.

Last year it was granted a 2015WGEA Employer of Choice for Gender Equality citation for its commitment and best practice in promoting gender equality.

Inclusive culture

“This latest accolade is a tribute to the inclusive culture we have developed at Griffith University over many years,” said Vice Chancellor and President Professor Ian O’Connor.

“There is no greater honour than to be recognised as a place where people want to work, and where they are encouraged to be the best that they can regardless of their gender.

“Our employees contribute in so many ways to learning in an environment that values excellence, innovation, equity and diversity.

“This is supported through the strength of valued initiatives such as the Women in Leadership Program and the Leneen Forde Future Leaders program.”

The WiT awards, now in their 19th year, were announced at a gala dinner in Brisbane on September 2.

WiT honours also were bestowed on Professor Michele Burford, the Executive Deputy Director of Griffith University’s Australian Rivers Institute.

Collaborative work

Professor Burford has won the Life Science and ICT Research category for her collaborative work with government, industry groups, and national and international researchers to tackle some of the big environmental questions of our time.

Professor Michelle Burford with her award for Life Science and ICT Research

Professor Michelle Burford with her award for Life Science and ICT Research

She also has been recognised for supporting and mentoring colleagues and associates, regardless of their gender, position and affiliation.

Among the finalists in Professor Burford’scategory was Dr Kate Seib, the NHMRC Career Development Fellow atGriffith’s Institute for Glycomics. Dr Seib is amicrobiologist whosecurrent research is focused on studying the mechanisms of disease of human bacterial pathogens that cause significant human morbidity and mortality.

Meanwhile, Dr Cara Beal has been recognised with the WiT’s Rural and Remote Life Science award for her work in digital water network transformation, smart metering technology and remote and regional water energy efficiency.


Dr Cara Beal with her award for Rural and Remote Life Science

Dr Beal, the Senior Research Fellow at Griffith’s Smart Water Research Centre, has published more than 60 peer-reviewed journal and conference papers. She is the recipient of a Queensland Fellowship for her work onsmart metering and demand management for sustainable water and energy use in remote Indigenous communities.

WiT president Fiona Hayes said this year’s awards celebrated 29 outstanding finalists and three inspiring organisations embracing diversity.

“A recurring theme from this year’s finalists is a real commitment to make the workplace better for future generations,” she said.

“Whether it’s through mentoring or putting their hands up to be involved in committees and networks outside of their day to day job, these women are really making an impact.

“Their work and research is helping to make the world a better place —pioneering medical research and driving technological innovation.”

WiT is the peak industry body for women in technology and life sciences within Queensland with a vision to advance, connect and empower women in these fields.