In the lead-up to International Women’s Day on Friday, a full week has been spent celebrating and recognising the women at Griffith who continue to help forge a more gender diverse and inclusive university.

The week began with an inspiring lecture from Dr Kirstin Ferguson, one of Australia’s most in-demand speakers and the inaugural guest in Griffith’s Remarkable Leadership Speaker Series.

Dr Ferguson, who sits on numerous boards after several prominent CEO roles, has recently written a book, Women Kind, examining how a shared and united women’s voice can transform communities and work environments.

The current Deputy Chair of the ABC relayed her personal experiences in the workplace starting when she joined the male-dominated Royal Australian Air Force straight out of school.

Shaan Ross-Smith, MATE Bystander Program Director

The Multi-Faith Centre is also the venue for an engaging presentation to be held by Ms Shaan Ross-Smith, who leads Griffith’s MATE Bystander Program, an intervention program aimed at teaching us all to be leaders in preventing harmful behaviour.

Ms Ross-Smith, who worked in the corrections system for 16 years including as Director of re-offender rehabilitation, spoke of the need to achieve gender parity in the workplace and simple measures people can take to support this goal.

At Logan Campus, Ms Gail Kerr OAM, the CEO of Access Community Services, will deliver a key address at an International Women’s Day Lunch hosted by Logan Campus Pro Vice Chancellor Ms Linda O’Brien.

With participants from the Women In Leadership and Leneen Forde programs attending, Ms Kerr will be speaking to guests on ‘making a difference in the world’ and her experiences both professional and personal through her long and successful business career.

At South Bank, Queensland Conservatorium faculty, students and alumni are putting on a free lunchtime showcase of music composed and performed by women to celebrate International Women’s Day.

‘Women of Noise’ will take place at 1pm on Friday, with a program featuring solo, chamber and large ensemble repertoire from Australia and beyond. For anyone who can’t make it in person, the event will be livestreamed:

International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate the achievements of women throughout history and the world. It is now in its 108th year, with the theme for 2019 being ‘Balance for Better’, driving a more equitable working world.

Nationally recognised annually as being an Employer of Choice for Women since 2001, Griffith in 2018 became one of the first Australian institutions to be bestowed a Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) Athena SWAN Bronze Institutional Award.

Vice Chancellor and President Professor Carolyn Evans

Vice Chancellor and President Professor Carolyn Evans said gender balance and diversity are important in allowing an institution to thrive.

“This is not about special treatment for women or for minorities,” Professor Evans said. “This is about ensuring every person is able to make their best contribution.

“It’s also incumbent upon us to ensure that all Griffith employees, including women, have the requisite support networks, mentoring and access to key leadership programs to succeed in their careers.”