veski supports Women in Research - Achieving it all

5 March
Women in Research Panel
Women in Research Panel

More than 800 people attended the recent 'Women in Research' forum, hearing from an expert panel on the challenges and opportunities for women juggling their personal life with a career in research.

The audience, which included students from nine different secondary schools as well as members of the local community and research sector, heard presentations from some of Australia's leading female researchers including Australia's first female Nobel Laureate Professor Elizabeth Blackburn, Federal Member for Chisholm Anna Burke, CSIRO chief executive officer Dr Megan Clark, Australian Research Council chief executive officer Professor Margaret Sheil and University of Melbourne chief executive officer Professor Sharon Bell. 

In her keynote lecture Professor Blackburn highlighted the shift in the number of women studying in her field, which has increased dramatically over the past few decades. She said after the postdoctoral period, this figure decreased as some women opt out of a research career.

"Now we realise that there are other forces at work here and we know they are very general to a lot of different professions," Professor Blackburn said.

"Women must think very seriously about the implications of having a family and a career and how to juggle both. The science isn't so daunting. It's the structures that become daunting."

Discussions that followed looked at ways to assist and support women in rewarding research careers while leading fulfilling family lives, rather than having to make a choice between their personal and professional lives.

Monash Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Edwina Cornish told the forum that there were currently 1683 female researchers working at Monash.

"It is a huge powerhouse of innovation and creativity and it is important we as an institution do all we can to support their aspirations," Professor Cornish said. 

Courtesy of MonashMemo - Monash University

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