SWiM: Supporting Women in MDHS

What is SWiM?

The Supporting Women in MDHS (SWiM) program aims to promote gender equity and support academic promotion of women in our Faculty.

SWiM aims to inspire and encourage women to seek out and step up to leadership roles in their academic careers, as well as strategically prepare them for academic promotion.

Why does gender disparity matter?

Our Faculty cannot reach its full potential unless it can benefit from the talents of all our academic staff. Female academics are forced out of careers in STEMM by structural barriers and dysfunctional systems. The loss of such expertise is a significant waste of knowledge, talent and investment. This is an important issue for the entire Faculty to take on. Achieving gender equity will result in better balance, leading to a better Faculty for all.

What are we doing?

SWiM will provide targeted support for women applying for academic promotion under three pillars:

  • Inspiring stories: a seminar series featuring women leaders and change makers
  • Tailored mentoring: supporting women in preparing for academic promotion; Register as a mentor now
  • Peer networks: for information sharing and advice on career progression

The SWiM program is aligned to:

Inspiring stories: webinar series

In this monthly discussion series Associate Professor Natalie Hannan, Associate Dean Diversity and Inclusion, invites leading women in STEMM and other sectors to join her for a conversation about their careers, to share their advice and experience.

Natalie shares, "I hope that by creating this ongoing series for all MDHS colleagues we open up conversations about women in the workplace and feel inspired for our futures, better connected and confident to achieve our best."

In the next instalment of our Supporting Women in MDHS (SWiM) Inspiring Stories event series, our special guest is Professor Nancy Baxter, a clinical epidemiologist, surgeon and health services researcher and our Head of School for the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health.

Professor Jennifer Philip: Embracing flexible work arrangements for gender equality

Professor Jennifer Philip is a palliative care clinician, researcher and teacher whose particular areas of interest include improving the ways supportive and palliative care are delivered, ensuring care is underpinned by high quality evidence and that it is delivered by well trained professionals and carers. She leads the Palliative Nexus Research Group, partnering with the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, to advance equity, access and quality of care in serious illness. She has a lead role in improving palliative care clinical trial capacity and participation in Victoria.

Dr Rita Hardiman: Navigating barriers faced after extraordinary life events

Dr Rita Hardiman is a teaching and research academic in the Melbourne Dental School. In 2011, after a return to work from maternity leave, and less than a year post-PhD, Rita was involved in a life-threatening incident: she was run over by a semi-trailer on her way home. This had devastating effects on Rita and her young family, as well as doing significant damage to her emerging career in academia. After five months in hospital and physical rehabilitation, Rita started to re-establish her research career; succeeding in her recovery and progression in part through supportive networks and strong advocacy.

Professor Jane Gunn: Listening, learning and renovating workplace culture

Professor Jane Gunn is a general practitioner with a distinguished academic career and over 25 years of experience in implementing research into clinical practice. As the university's inaugural Chair of Primary Care Research, her work in mental health addresses a leading cause of disability burden and she is a current member of a number of health service boards. Jane is also passionate about ensuring we have a safe, inclusive work environment where we are all able to thrive and has made improving workplace culture a priority as Dean.

Julia Page: Key ingredients for progression towards gender equity in STEMM

Ms Julia Page was appointed chief executive officer of veski in 2004 after a career spanning the public, private and philanthropic sectors in Australia and the United Kingdom. In the time she has been with veski, Julia has actively lead initiatives for women in science and research and was instrumental in the development of the veski inspiring women program including a series of professional development activities and the inaugural veski inspiring women fellowships. She is passionate about delivering diverse and inclusive programs, including the veski inspiring women STEM sidebyside program, developed to empower women at differing career stages with the skills, networks and mindset to develop and achieve their career goals within STEM industries.

Leonie Walsh: Two careers in one, the why and the how

Leonie Walsh is a Board Chair and  strategic adviser in technological innovation with over 30 years of local and international experience across a broad range of industries. More recently Leonie completed a three-year term as Victoria’s inaugural Lead Scientist from 2013 to 2016. In this capacity Leonie was a contributing member on the Future Industries Ministerial Advisory Council, helped establish the Inspiring Women Fellowship program, represented Victoria on the Forum of Australian Chief Scientists and participated as an industry expert on a range of Government grant and scholarship programs.

Professor Sharon Lewin: The critical importance of good leadership in crisis

Professor Sharon Lewin is a leading infectious diseases expert, inaugural director of the Peter Doherty Institute of Infection and Immunity, Professor of Medicine and a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Practitioner Fellow. Professor Lewin's leadership of the Doherty Institute and calm and informed media presence throughout the COVID-19 pandemic have been nothing short of inspirational.

Professor Laura Parry:  Fixing the system while smashing imposter syndrome

Tuesday 13 April 2021

Professor Laura Parry has three decades of experience in higher education, as a researcher, research leader and award-winning educator, and is internationally renowned for her expertise and ground-breaking research in reproductive and vascular biology. In September 2020, she was appointed interim Executive Dean of Sciences at the University of Adelaide, after a 10-month appointment as Head of School, Biological Sciences. Furthermore, she is a champion of the greater participation of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).

Professor Til Wykes:  a talk about gender equality and mental health

Tuesday 16 March 2021

Til is a Professor of Clinical Psychology and Rehabilitation and Head of The School of Mental Health and Psychological Sciences at Kings College, London.Her research has been various with explorations in cognitive science, developing treatments and evaluations of those treatments - mostly for people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Til is the editor of the Journal of Mental Health, holder of a Guinness World record for the largest mental health lesson and has been awarded a Damehood for her work in mental health.

Dr Marguerite Evans-Galea AM: mentorship, sponsorship and allyship

Tuesday 15 December 2020

Dr Marguerite Evans-Galea AM is a scientist, executive and entrepreneur. She is Executive Director of the Industry Mentoring Network in STEM (IMNIS) with the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE), and co-founder and CEO of Women in STEMM Australia.

Dr Evans-Galea talks to Associate Professor Natalie Hannan about finding a mentor, knowing your career 'why' and believing in yourself during uncertain times.

Dr Ngaree Blow: the visibility of First Nations women

Tuesday 17 November 2020

Dr Ngaree Blow is a Yorta-Yorta, Noonuccal, Goreng-Goreng woman living on Wurundjeri country. She is currently working as the Director of First Nations Health for Medical Education at the University of Melbourne, as well as medical lead in the COVID-19 case, contact and outbreak management team at the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

Dr Ngaree Blow talks with Associate Professor Nat Hannan about the social determinants of health, the ‘angry black woman’ stereotype and how we need to address racial inequities before barriers for women can be broken.

Prof Julie Bines: the importance of good mentorship for women academics

Tuesday 20 October 2020

Professor Julie Bines is a Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Melbourne and a Paediatric Gastroenterologist and Head of Clinical Nutrition at the Royal Children’s Hospital.She leads the Enteric Disease Group at Murdoch Children’s Research Institute working to develop an affordable novel rotavirus vaccine, RV3-BB vaccine, aimed at preventing rotavirus disease from birth in infants worldwide. She is Director of the WHO Collaborative Centre for Child Health and has served as a consultant for WHO.

A/Prof Susan Hurley: a career in STEMM, culminating in a novel

Tuesday 22 September 2020

Associate Professor Susan Hurley is a writer and medical researcher with expertise in health economics, pharmacoepidemiology and public health policy. She is the author of the novel Eight Lives (Affirm Press, 2019), which has its origins in a catastrophic first-in-human trial of a monoclonal antibody. Susan has published more than fifty papers in high profile journals like the Lancet and her projects have influenced health policy, particularly in the areas of mammographic screening, HIV/AIDS, pharmacoepidemiology, immunisation and tobacco control.

Tailored Mentoring Guide

The SWiM Program aims to provide focused support for Level C and D academic women applying for promotion in 2021. To ensure our Faculty is progressing towards reaching gender equity, we want to provide support to women in a new tailored form and the mentoring partnership is a key factor in the success of our program.

Participants will be partnered with Level D and Level E academic mentors outside of their Department (and School where possible) for tailored advice and to support them through the promotion application process. Pairings are based as much as possible on the data we receive from your registration application as a mentor and/or a mentee.

A copy of our Mentoring Guidelines can be downloaded here

SWiM Faces“Every great achiever is inspired by a great mentor” – Lailah Gifty Akita

  • What to Expect

    One on one support through individual mentee/mentor relationships

    • Your mentor will be someone who has successfully applied for academic promotion to level D or E and has opted in to be a mentor for this specific program; they will likely have mentored others in a promotion application too,
    • They will be an active listener, ask you questions about your career and provide constructive feedback in order to prepare an application that best showcases your attributes in line with the promotions criteria,
    • You will receive six months of one-on-one support and guidance developing and refining your promotion application,
    • Communication between you and your mentor should be targeted towards preparing a strong promotion application, the relationship, communication style and medium should be mutually decided on early to ensure you meet each others expectations.
    • We recommend at least 4 mentor/mentee meetings throughout the promotion process (please see below for more details about the key program dates).

    Opportunities for networking and peer support

    • You will be invited to practical workshops with other mentees focused on preparing and refining promotion applications,
    • You will be set up with a members access online connection via Teams to share content, stories, and progress,
    • Two small-group networking sessions twice throughout the promotion rounds to encourage connection and application preparation (peer groups will be encouraged to also connect in addition to these two sessions),
    • You will be supported with updates and check-ins from the SWiM team with respect to program dates and expectations of progress.

    Alignment with the Universitys promotions process, timelines and briefings to ensure that workshops are timely and relevant

  • Mentors

    A cross section of academic mentors from Levels D and E will be identified provide a mentor for each of our mentees.

    Inclusion criteria for mentors are:

    • Participation in the MDHS promotion process either as an applicant or assessor (must be familiar with current promotions process)
    • Evidence of effective mentorship in the past
    • Demonstration of the Faculty values
    • Passion for supporting the career development of others
    • Availability and commitment to attend program events and meet with mentees between January and July 2021

    Mentors are not expected to edit promotion applications and are not responsible for promotion outcomes. The role of the mentor is to provide high level advice and support with respect to the narrative of the promotion application, time management, consideration of performance relative to opportunity and asking questions to draw out the strengths of the mentee as they relate to promotions criteria.

    To register as a mentor, please visit here

  • Mentees

    *Please note that registrations for mentees are now closed. We will welcome another cohort in the near future*

    Any academic mentee at Level C and Level D are invited to join the program if they intend to apply for academic promotion in through our registration portal.

    Inclusion criteria for mentees are:

    • Readiness and commitment to apply for academic promotion in 2021
    • Availability and commitment to attend program events meet with assigned mentor between January and July 2021.
  • Getting the Right Match
    • The matching process will be undertaken using the data gained through the registration survey.
    • When completing the registration keep an open mind when completing your preferences in your application profile – we will try our best to accommodate your preferences, but it is not possible to guarantee a 100% match.
    • Mentoring participants often report gaining a lot from mentors they would not necessarily of picked themselves in the beginning. Intuition is important, and should be relied on but mentees often experience great outcomes by keeping an open mind and maintaining a professional relationship. You may also have other mentors in your Department, try to use this paired mentor to help convey your case beyond your discipline or workforce category.
    • An agreement should be reached about the style, duration and regularity of meetings possible between you and your mentor early on – with expectations discussed early.
    • Remember that mentoring can be more than the traditional expert-novice relationship. We have many committed mentors who are willing to share their expertise and support you through the promotions process.
    • This program is underpinned by our Faculty values:

    • Teamwork & collaboration – sharing knowledge and expertise to help achieve goals
    • Respect – for the diversity of histories and lived experiences to create a safe space to share knowledge and experiences
    • Integrity – honesty and trust underpin our mentoring relationships, where mentoring conversations are kept confidential
    • Compassion - communicate and clarify expectations of each other (active listening is critical)
    • Accountability – we are accountable for the actions we commit to, including being on time to scheduled meetings, advising of any changes in plans as soon as possible and being prepared for meetings.
  • Key Program Dates
    November - December 2020

    Call to HoD/HoS to identify potential mentees and mentors

    18 January 2021

    MDHS Mentoring program launch event

    17 February 2021

    University wide women only promotions briefing

    18 - 19 February

    University wide promotions briefings

    Feburary 2021

    First mentor/mentee meetings

    1 March 2021

    University calls for promotion applications

    University wide women only promotions briefing

    MDHS Mentoring program workshop 1 – preparing your application

    26 March 2021

    Mentee advises HoD/HoS they are applying for promotion

    March 2021

    Second mentor/mentee meetings

    19 – 23 April 2021

    MDHS Mentoring program workshop 2 – refining your application

    April 2021

    Third mentor/mentee meetings

    14 May 2021

    Complete application submitted to HoD/HoS

    May 2021

    Fourth mentor/mentee meetings

    28 May 2021

    Application and HoD/HoS report returned to applicant (Level E)

    4 June 2021

    Closing date for application to HR (Level E)

    11 June 2021

    Application and HoD/HoS report returned to applicant (Level D)

    18 June 2021

    Closing date for application to HR (Level D)

    June - July 2021

    MDHS Mentoring program celebratory event

    July - August 2021

    Evaluation phase 1 (debrief with participants)

    November 2021

    Evaluation phase 2 (promotion outcomes)

  • Contact Us

    If you have any suggestions or issues to raise in regard to the SWiM Tailored Mentoring Program, please do not hesitate to contact:

    Jacqui Olney

    Natalie Hannan

    Megan Sharp