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24 May 2018

Garvan’s newest role as one of Franklin Women’s Academic Partners

Garvan cements its commitment to championing gender equity through a new partnership.

The Garvan Institute of Medical Research has become an inaugural partner in Franklin Women’s Academic Partner program, together with the Cancer Council NSW, Centenary Institute, The George Institute for Global Health, MQ Health (Macquarie University Health Sciences Centre), Kolling Institute, UNSW Sydney Medicine and Sydney Medical School.

Franklin Women is a grassroots organisation in NSW led by women working in the health and medical research sector. They are focused on building a community of women working in the sector, with the goal of empowering them to pursue rewarding scientific careers and helping them address the systemic barriers faced by women in science and achieve senior leadership positions.

With this new partnership, Franklin Women has recognised Garvan’s commitment to supporting the career progression of its female staff and students, and achieving gender equity at all levels of the organisation.

Garvan’s relationship with Franklin Women began last year, with the participation of Garvan researchers in the inaugural Franklin Women’s Mentoring Program. Dr Marie Dziadek (Chief Scientific Officer) invited Professor Chris Goodnow (now Garvan’s Executive Director) and Professor Peter Croucher (Head of the Bone Biology Division) to be Garvan’s first mentors in the program, and selected Dr Liz Caldon and Dr Tatyana Chtanova as mentees. Following the success of the Mentoring Program, Garvan looks forward to the evolution of its relationship with Franklin Women, and working together to achieve their common goals.

Dr Marie Dziadek says the partnership is an important step for Garvan.

“Generating an institute-wide culture of diversity and inclusion lies at the heart of establishing an organisation in which women, and indeed all staff, thrive and achieve their true potential,” Dr Dziadek says.

“Garvan shares this vision with Franklin Women and all the partner organisations, and we look forward to working collectively to accelerate this cultural change.”

For Dr Melina Georgousakis, founder of Franklin Women, the launch of Franklin Women’s Academic Partners represents an important milestone.

She says, “Franklin Women is so proud of what we have achieved through connecting like-minded individuals in the sector to share experiences and lend support, so we are very excited to build on that foundation and establish our Academic Partners program which brings together organisations who are committed to creating a sector that celebrates and promotes diversity and inclusion.”

The first Equity Think Tank, exclusively for Franklin Women’s Academic Partners, takes place today. This event will be an opportunity for organisation representatives involved in developing and implementing gender equity initiatives to communicate and learn from each other.

This partnership will allow Garvan to continue being proactive in implementing policies and processes to promote gender equity. Garvan’s Flexible Working Hours Policy and initiatives such as Garvan’s Childcare Travel Awards, spearheaded by Dr Dziadek, have already benefitted researchers across the Institute. The Childcare Travel Awards allow primary caregivers, mostly women, to attend scientific conferences and committee meetings – critical steps in career progression – by providing funds for childcare.

We look forward to the outcomes of Franklin Women’s Think Tank events to continue finding innovative and effective ways to support the development of a more inclusive scientific community where women thrive.

Learn more about Franklin Women’s Academic Partners.