Griffith University has become the first in Australia to partner with global medical and pharmaceutical organisation Johnson & Johnson in a program designed to recruit, retain and engage women in undergraduate degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Manufacturing and Design (WiSTEM2D).

The inaugural Australian WiSTEM2D University Program — joining about 20 institutions worldwide in partnership with Johnson & Johnson — is led by Social Marketing @ Griffith Director Professor Sharyn Rundle-Thiele and will undertake research to investigate the challenges and opportunities for women entering and completing undergraduate degrees in STEM2D fields.

As part of the program, volunteers from across the Johnson & Johnson stable will facilitate mentoring programs for women enrolled in Griffith’s undergraduate STEM2D degrees.

“Griffith and Johnson & Johnson have a documented history of being committed to building inclusive, innovative cultures, so this is a partnership that makes perfect sense,” Professor Rundle-Thiele said.

“Outside of initiatives such as the program, both organisations have been recognised by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency as a 2017-18 Workplace Gender Equality Agency Employer of Choice for Gender Diversity.

“The Australian WiSTEM2D program is yet another step towards realising our goal of effecting meaningful change in the wider community by supporting incredible women entering still-underrepresented fields.”

Griffith was selected for the partnership in recognition of the University’s history of ensuring diversity in its learning and working environments, reflected in its participation in the SAGE Pilot of the Athena SWAN Charter, an evaluation and accreditation program that works towards enhancing gender equity in STEMM.

“As a recognised academic leader in the support of women in STEM2D, Griffith University is pleased to be the first university in Australia to partner with Johnson & Johnson to drive further societal change,” Professor Debra Henly, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), said.

“We look forward to collaborating with like-minded industries and organisations such as Johnson & Johnson to improve workplace diversity, gender equity and inclusion — all of which are issues central to our University ethos.”

The partnership with Johnson & Johnson is especially timely in the lead-up to the 2018 Women of the World Festival, of which Griffith University is a major partner.

The festival, which will be held from 6-8 April at the Brisbane Powerhouse, brings together remarkable women from a multiplicity of backgrounds to celebrate their power and potential in a thought-provoking and impactful event.

See its website for more information.