RemarkableUniversityleaders have sharedtheir experience,advice and learnings on leadership on International Women’s Day.
Vice Chancellor and President,Professor Carolyn Evans, wasthe first woman to hold that role at Griffith and welcomed the focus on the importance of women’s leadership for this year’s International Women’s Day.
“Griffith has women across the university who are leading and providing a wonderful example for other colleagues and students,” Professor Evans said.
Pro Vice Chancellor Indigenous and Head of Logan CampusProfessor Cindy Shannonadmits her leadership journey was, at times, daunting.
“Every job I have had, since 1992, I’ve been the first in that role.Sothere’s been nobody else that I can turn to or get some advice from or mentoring who has been in that role.
“And Irealisedthat I didn’t know everything, I couldn’t possibly, and that I was setting up something new, so I had to empower people around me, I had to support them, trust them.
“The best leadership advice I’ve ever received was that my job as a leader is to empower and support.
“That advice does reflect my leadership journey very well.”
Her advice for women navigating uncertain times is both powerful and uplifting.
“Be courageous. Be really supportive of one another and don’t forget or lose sight of what a hurdle we overcame last year.”
“I think what we can celebrate is the agility, the resilience, the support for one another that I saw through extraordinarily challenging times.
“It wasn’t just a period of change it was a period of great uncertainty. It did call for a lot of courage and a lot of resilience and I really respect the way people stepped up to that.
“It was very easy to say at the end of 2021 thank goodness that year is over and of course what happened last year will change the way we do some things for ever but we’re not out the other end yet.”
Griffith will host an exclusivelivestream eventon International Women’s Day, featuringGriffith Business School alumnus, strategist and researcherDr Elise Stephenson. She willlead a discussion with fellow alumni, human rights lawyer and FullbrightScholarSasha Purcell(Whaleboat), and Sir John Monash Scholarship recipientEmily Raguson the topic ofWomen in Leadership: achieving an equal future in a Covid-19 world.
Dr Stephenson,an advocate for increasinglymarginalisedvoices, particularly those of women and young people, in Australian international affairs,saidthe best leadership advice she’s received was to paddle her own canoe.
“You have the power to determine where your life goes,” she said.
”Ifyou come up against choppy waters, it will be okay.
“If you run up against a current or a receding tide, you actually have the ability to change direction.
“For the next generation I say embrace uncertainty. This is really your opportunity to upskill, build on your options and create your own future.
“Gather your own army and stick to your values and principles. Because those leaders that you don’t see out there in the world…. we need you to be them.”
Dr Stephenson said 2020 showed the incredible efforts of womenacross the economy, “whether it isthat we’rethe majority offrontlineworkers orhealthworkers or educators or(doing)domestic work in the home.”
“I wasreally excited to see thatNew Zealandhad its first indigenous female foreign minister, which would be great to also see in Australia too.
“My leadership advice toorganisations,business or govt would be that crisis is not the time to let gender inequalityslide.“
Watch Griffith leaders including Professor Caitlin Byrne, Professor Shannon and Professor Susan Harris-Rimmer, along with Dr Stephenson, Dr Lara Herrero and Dr Dhara Shah speak on leadership, equality and celebrating women.